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Re: History of Retaining Wall Sliding

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I don't know the 1930s, but as late as 1978, Amrhein showed resistance to sliding only having to exceed the horizontal force. The 82 UBC stated that retaining walls were to be designed per "accepted engineering practices." The 85 UBC added the requirement that they "shall be designed to resist sliding and overturning by at least 1.5 times the lateral force ...."
Steve P.
Pasadena CA

On 4/3/2003 2:09 PM after considerable forethought, Jonathan Mallard wrote:

Back to my bridge built in 1930....

On one of the approaches, there is a retaining wall adjacent to a cemetery.
Rough dimensions are 13'-4" tall, 6'-0" wide at the base and 2'-3" at the top.

We're thinking about cutting the wall slightly below the top, adding a moment
slab, and raising the grade about 7.5 feet.  At this point, sliding becomes quite
a problem!  We then went back and analyzed the existing wall using the plans
we have, and calculated a factor of safety against for sliding of 1.08 - a good deal
less then 1.5.
Looking at pictures of the existing wall in place, it doesn't appear to have moved
much in 70 + years.  Does anyone know if they even checked for sliding
back then?
And other than taking out the existing and starting over, does anyone have any
stories about similar additions to older retaining walls that they can share?


Jonathan Mallard, P.E.
Design Engineer
Ralph Whitehead Associates
(804) 794-1185 (804) 378-0923 FAX

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