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RE: Embedded Pole

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In the '97 UBC you may use either concrete OR clean sand in the annular space around the post. 1806.8.3.

Mark E. Deardorff

Structural Engineer

3434 4th Ave

San Diego, CA 92103

P 619.299.5550 x348

F 619.299.9934



From: M. David Finley, P.E., P.A. [mailto:davidfinley(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 6:54 AM
To: Seaint(--nospam--at)Seaint.Org
Subject: Embedded Pole

It is not uncommon for a directly embedded pole (sign column, traffic signal pole, utility pole, etc.) to have a concrete "collar" cast around it.  This is typically done by setting the pole in the drilled hole and then backfilling with concrete.  The result is an increased width of the structure which increases the resistance to overturning.  Pretty standard stuff.
But how about if tamped gravel is used rather that concrete?  It stands to reason that the gravel should provide greater capacity than just the pole alone, but certainly less that the concrete collar.  Does anyone know of a reference addressing this?

David Finley
M. David Finley, P.E., P.A.
2086 SW Main Boulevard - Suite 111
Lake City, FL  32025