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RE: Retaining Wall Questions

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The distance to develop passive resistance depends on the soil properties.  Determine the weight of the horizontal soil wedge engaged and the friction on the sliding surface to determine how much soil must be engaged to develop the passive pressure.
Bill Sherman

From: Jordan Denio [mailto:jordan(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:02 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Retaining Wall Questions



In my case yes, the upper wall has a key, but the question is how much horizontal distance does the passive pressure need to fully develop and dissipate, such that it will not apply a horizontal surcharge on the lower wall.  I realize this might be more of a question for the soils guy….




From: Jnapd(--nospam--at) [mailto:Jnapd(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 11:02 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Retaining Wall Questions




I the 5' - 0" setback is usually recommended in your area pay a soils engineer for a letter that state this.


To me that seems to be not enough.....what if you have a wet year and half or all the soil is gone in front of the wall......the wall may go bye - bye and so does your license.....especially if the client knows a lawyer or is one.   Today you are responsible for your clients gross stupidity according to a lot of court decisions. Sooo  be cautious with what people ask for.


So it is good if not prudent to err on the side of conservatism


Question: In a stacking, stepped retaining wall situation, if and when is it reasonable to disregard the sliding force from the upper wall on the lower wall? 

Need more informationDo you have to key the upper wall ??


Joe Venuti
Johnson & Nielsen Associates
Palm Springs, CA

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