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Precast poles behind retaining wall

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The lateral load on the column is being resisted by earth pressure from 
direct embedment of the column. The column is designed as a free-standing 
column for the exposed height (above the grade drop) plus the height of the 
retaining wall, and then considered embedded in the earth below the top of 
wall footing. By providing a blockout in the wall foundation to allow the 
column to pass through, and then filling the annular space with rock-fill, 
can I count on the column embedment below the foundation to provide 
stablity to the retaining wall as well as resist the lateral load on the 

The other question is how do we isolate the column and prevent the backfill 
behind the stem of the wall from supporting the column laterally? Would a 
sleeve be appropriate in this type of application? Would it matter if we 
have adequate embedment of the column beyond the wall foundation to resist 
the column lateral loads? I know this will result in some redistribution of 
the column lateral load but I am trying to figure out how to minimize 
lateral earth resistance of the column above the wall foundation.

Sarah H. Nuttall, P.E.
Project Engineer
LJA Engineering & Surveying, Inc.
713-953-5060 (Direct)
713-953-5200 (Main)
713-953-5026 (Fax)

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