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Cylindrical domes

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Hello all,

I have been asked to design a concrete cylindrical dome.  The radius is 35 
feet and the apex is 5 feet below grade (A tunnel).  We based our preliminary 
analysis on a vertical load that increased as the depth of soil increased and 
a lateral component as an equivalent fluid.  This, of course, created large 
stresses for which we designed the concrete thickness and reinforcing.  The 
developer says that our results are way too high because we are not 
considering the "arching effect" of the soil.  The soils engineer says that 
this effect has been documented but that based on the fact that the soil over 
the structure is fill as opposed to native soil and the fill will be 
relatively granular in addition to the effects from vehicular traffic, the 
arching effect is minimal. I have spoken with an engineer that says that he's 
got a computer program that can analyze this condition and it's been done a 
lot.  Does anyone have any experience with this?  Is this science or more 
documented proof that you can write a computer program to say anything you 
want to say?

Thanks in advance.

Doug Snow
Snow and Associates 
Scottsdale, Arizona