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Re: Key Location in cant. retain. walls.

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I prefer the key directly under the stem to increase the resisting
moment, and while I don't design for it, there is thought that the
passive pressure is increased based on an equivalent depth relative to
the bearing pressure.  However, if the height of the vertical cut is a
concern for stability, I locate the stem at a distance away from the
heel equal to the depth of the key.  Another consideration is the method
of excavation.  If it's a long wall, and the key is being excavated by a
back hoe, you've got to consider accessibility.

Steve Privett