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Re: Retaining Wall Question

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>If the heel weren't there
>(property line wall) would the vertical friction still apply at the back
>of the wall? 

My original post assumed a footing with the heel larger that the toe (not 
property line).  I tend to agree with you that with a property line footing,
 you don't "see" any of the vertical soil force (no footing to "push" on).

>Another consideration about actual construction procedures
>is that the excavation rarely provides a vertical cut and often is
>somewaht wedge shaped. This is commonly filled either partially or
>totally with "backfill" consisting either entirely of drain rock or in
>some combination with compacted soil.

It is my experience that pervious backfill is about twice as expensive as 
fill.  It seems that they would use as little pervious as possible.  You 
should be able to get some reaction from the fill.

>My vote stays with careful consideration of backfill and determination
>of whether to use a vertical component based on that conclusion. As for
>concerns about how large the footing becomes without considering this
>"added" component, we certainly should care that we are designing a
>reasonable solution. Often other effects such as return walls and
>corners are ignored because it is simpler to design a cantilever element
>as opposed to a wall plate system. This points toward judgement and yes,
>fee amounts. (I knew I wanted to talk about fees!)

Good point.

Kevin McCune