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Re: Retaining Wall Surcharge in Snow Country

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I posted this exact same topic about a year ago and did not receive much of
a response.  One thoughtful engineer suggested that frozen soil has no
active pressure and as a result negates any surcharge.  Good point however
our frost line is only 18+ACI-.  I personally haven't seen any negative effects
of walls that where this surcharge is not considered (even really old
walls).  One possibility is that full active pressure takes along time to
fully develop and that the FULL ground snow is very seldom on the ground (if
ever).  Currently the EL Dorado County Building Dept. is looking at this
subject.  I understand that they haven't have had very much input.  My
personal opinion is that the retaining walls seem unaffected by ground snow
load and that money required to beef up retaining walls might be better
spent on other parts of the structure.  I will be looking forward to input
on this subject and will forward any relevant info to the EDC building dept.

Randy Vogelgesang S.E.
South Lake Tahoe

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Schaniel +ADw-tschaniel+AEA-QNET.COM+AD4-
Date: Wednesday, June 09, 1999 6:47 PM
Subject: Retaining Wall Surcharge in Snow Country

+AD4-Does anyone out there who does snow country design have any opinions on
+AD4-to use for a surcharge on retaining walls.  Would you use the ground snow
+AD4-weight, or some other number.  For example we have tables that say to use
+AD4-100 psf surcharge for garages and parking areas, and 200 psf surcharges for
+AD4-highways.  In areas with a 300 psf ground snow weight it seems out of line
+AD4-to be using this number directly and getting tougher retaining walls then
+AD4-would be used at a highway.  We'd appreciate any thoughts or recommended
+AD4-Tom Schaniel
+AD4-Mammoth Lakes, CA