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RE: RR Tie retaining walls

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Kate, I'm not sure if this is the answer or not, but it seems to me that the
minimum height of a retaining wall without having to design it is 30 inches
(I might be wrong about this one). Also if the slope of the hill is less
than 2:1, I do not think it needs to be retained. Could it be that the wall
was used as a debree wall only and that the slope behind it was 2:1 or less?

-----Original Message-----
From:	Kathleen  A. O'Brien [mailto:wildwoman1(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Sunday, May 31, 1998 2:19 PM
To:	SEAOC Forum
Subject:	RR Tie retaining walls

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.


1. Does anyone know how easy it would be to get RR ties and telephone
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

Thanks for any input

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