Design And Construction Of Micropiles Each Subject To 110 Kips Of Lateral Load

Baxter, Andrew
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas is a beautiful glass and concrete structure cut into a valley that mingles with water ponds spanned by multiple bridges with suspended roofs. Or, at least it will be when completed in 2009. At Crystal Bridges, most of the proposed buildings involve cuts up to 50 ft high to be retained by the building structures. This requires the construction of retaining walls adequately founded to support lateral loads of up to 70 kip/ft. To add to this difficulty, the site is within a karst region with all the variability and irregularities associated with solutioning and erosion of the parent rock in this environment. The irregular rock profile made it virtually impossible to conceive a predictable arrangement of shallow footings and shear keys for the retaining walls. The existence of layers of soft soils within a hard rock formation made a caisson foundation impractical. The authors developed an innovative solution based on micropiles, which proved to be invaluable from a cost and schedule point of view. In areas where rock was shallow, micropiles were used as ?shear pins? to transfer the horizontal loads to the rock. In areas with significant overburden, a system of vertical and battered micropiles was devised to carry vertical and horizontal loads from the retaining walls. This paper presents a detailed description of the design and installation of the micropiles used as shear pins, and includes the results of lateral load tests performed on full-scale models of the grade beams on shear pins. The work performed shows that micropiles in rock can be effectively utilized for support of significant lateral loads provided that an adequate arrangement of suitably sized micropiles is provided, and that micropiles used as shear pins may develop significant tensile stresses when loaded laterally.
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