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High Mast Light Pole Anchor Bolts

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Feedback from my site/civil guys:


The article states that there is no criterion for inspecting the fabrication of these poles.  I beg to differ.  According to AASHTO specifications, circumferential welds at base plates are to be complete-penetration welds not fillet as shown in the article and as far as inspecting these welds, all should be inspected by radiography or ultrasonics.  In my opinion, the cause of failure is the failure to inspect the welds as required by AASHTO.

In any event, to shed some light on Rich’s questions, anchor bolts are required to be designed to withstand shear, tension, pullout and/or rotational effects due to loading.  To accomplish this, using a 90 degree bend, welded plate or lock bolt and washer plate is supposed to be utilized at the embedded end.  Development length is strictly specified in AASHTO as a minimum of 20 anchor bolt diameters.  Therefore, my guess would be that the anchors should be fine.

In my experience with luminaire design the vibrations from the poles natural frequency caused the leveling pad to break up.  This situation will be very difficult to repair by pressure injection as all debris should be removed prior to injection procedures.  If there are no leveling bolts beneath the base plate the pole will need to be supported to do so.  Therefore a crane will need to be present at that time anyhow.

My suggestion is to lift and reset the pole on a new, non-shrink grout leveling pad and prestress the bolts and torque as required and specified by AASHTO.  By lifting, you will also be able to remove the stress from the anchors and check them for bond.




D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE, SECB

Senior Project Manager

Structural Department


Engineers and Consultants - CMX

200 Route 9

Manalapan, NJ 07726

732-577-9000 (Ext. 308)

908-309-8657 (Cell)

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