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Re: Retaining wall design

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Neglecting the upward soil pressure is a conservative assumption.  If you were
designing  a 100 foot long retaining wall the savings in construction costs
may not be that significant, i.e. not unreasonably conservative to neglect the
upward pressure.  On the other hand if you providing 1000 feet or say 10000
feet of retaining wall the added construction cost would be significant, i.e.
neglecting the upward pressure is an unreasonable assumption.

In any case, I always consider the upward soil pressure below the heel.

Bob Conley, PE