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RE: Lap splices in retaining wall

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Don’t know the bar sizes in question, but with a 5ft high retaining wall wouldn’t thing they’re too big. How about bar couplers? Are they permitted by local code? With smaller bar diameters (#16, #19, #22) the coupler should fit within the voids in the CMU and allow for concrete/mortar filling. If so, they might be a feasible, albeit expensive alternative to chopping/drilling the footing or welding the dowels. Most if not all bar couplers will be able to develop 125% of the bar yield.


Hope this helps.





Thomas J. Cummings, PE

Manager - Bridge Design Practice

Gannett Fleming Engineers and Architects, P.C.

One Penn Plaza, Suite 2222

250 West 34th Street

New York, NY 10119

P:  (212) 967-9833 Ext. 5244

F:  (212) 268-6684

E:  tcummings(--nospam--at)


From: Donald Bruckman [mailto:bruckmandesign(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2007 1:42 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Lap splices in retaining wall



I got trouble.  I need advice. 

I have this project in NoCal.  Big box shopping center.  Here’s the problem.


In a 5 foot deep loading dock area, I have perimeter retaining walls.  Long story short, the concrete sub poured the footings too thick, (top of footing too high) and now the lap splices for the masonry portion of the retaining wall are insufficient.  


I suggested to the SE that we simply dowel the masonry steel into the top of the footing to regain the lap distance.  Somehow, 10 days later, (and I might add, incredibly, after explaining that I didn’t think butt welding new steel onto the ends of the embedded A615 was such a good idea), I still have no answer from the Architect or engineer.  


Is there some reason why my suggestion would not fix the problem?  


Sincerely Yours,

Lost my Heart, (and my pretty soon my O&P) in San Francisco



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