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Highway Sound Barrier Walls

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I'm currently in a debate with another engineer regarding drilled piles or caissons for highway sound wall posts. I want to provide steel posts embedded a short length into augered concrete piles with a steel rebar cage around the perimeter of the pile with 76mm (3") of cover. The other engineer maintains that a rebar cage is not necessary if the galvanized steel post is extended to near the bottom of the pile.

My position is that, due to the augering of the hole and filling in with concrete, it is likely that dirt will fall into the concrete or that uneven drilling or air pockets could lead to weakening or cracking and, hence, loss of cover.

I want the rebar cage since our code states that, in seismic zones, non-plain concrete shall not be used for structural members where ductility is required.

Anybody have any thoughts or opinions on this issue?


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