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RR Tie retaining walls

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HI All:

I have an interesting problem.

A client wants to put in a wall consisting of Rail Road Ties spanning
between columns. The columns will probably be fat telephone poles. The RR
ties will of course be pressure-treated.

This particular developer did this a decade or so ago, and got it OK'd by
the City (Thousand Oaks). I took a photo of the existing wall and it looks
really nice, and appears to have held up quite well. Of course the Code has
changed a few times since then.

Questions:

1. Does anyone know how easy it would be to get RR ties and telephone
poles?
2. Does anyone have any ideas on what allowable stresses would befor RR
ties? I would probably assume stresses for redwood if I couldn't get any
information.

Thanks for any input

Kate O'Brien, P.E.
Simi Valley, CA