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RE: Reclaim Concrete Tunnel

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The building codes do not apply to subgrade structures.  You need to get some seismologists with experience in tunnels.  It is a specialty that is claimed by many and practiced properly by few especially when it come to the NMSZ (New Madrid Seismic Zone). 
You will get differential shaking depending on the strata of soil, orientation relative to the source fault, and the proximity to the source fault. 
A couple of good sources for a starting point are:
Dr. Bob Herrmann
Saint Louis University
Dr. C.B. Crouse
URS Corp. Seattle, WA

Harold Sprague

Subject: Reclaim Concrete Tunnel
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 10:48:33 -0600
From: jmicayas(--nospam--at)
To: seaint(--nospam--at)

Fellow Structural engineers:


I got this heavy industrial project I’m working on. If possible can I get a second or third opinion?


Project location: 70 miles away from the new Madrid fault (Missouri)


Project description: An underground reclaimed concrete tunnel with 6 openings on top use for loading and unloading coal materials

Discharge to a transfer tower using a diverter chute. A 50 ft high of coal stack pile sits on top of my concrete reclaim tunnel (width =20’, Length = 450 ft., depth = 18 ft).


For seismic base shear using non building structure; In addition to the self weight and conveyor inside the tunnel, do you consider 100% of the material weight sits on top of the tunnel? If not, is there a percent reduction?





Engr. Julius Micayas

P.E. license no.32969

Senior Lead Structural Engineer

River Consulting- New Orleans

111 Veterans Memorial Boulevard

Metairie, LA 70005


Phone - 504-841-3014 (direct)

504 837-5275 (office)

Fax - 504-837-2986


E-mail:            jmicayas(--nospam--at)


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