Case Study: Innovative Soil Nail Stabilization Of A 100 Foot High Urban Slope

Fabius, Mike
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority is responsible for slopes along the Kaministiquia River, one of the largest tributaries to Lake Superior in Canada. After arresting toe erosion for a mile of riverbank, the remainder of the slope required stabilization to stop further crest regression and to protect the houses, street and services at the top. Stabilization of the 100 ft. high slope was tendered as design-build with a target safety factor of 1.3 and a design life of 75 years. The successful bid was a system of 1.4 inch diameter soil nails up to 40 feet long, installed perpendicular to the slope on a 3 to 5 foot grid. The conventional shotcrete facing was replaced with a ?green? biotechnical facing and special transverse plate heads on the nails. The key to keeping costs low proved to be installation with light equipment working on the slope, and driving the nails without drilling or grouting. Rather than tension, the design was based on bending in the nails, similar to a laterally loaded flexible pile. The paper describes the design and installation of this innovative system. The design is discussed in terms of soil properties, nail resistance as it varies with depth, failure modes, corrosion protection, root design and nail head design. Construction challenges are discussed. The system is compared to an adjacent anchored soldier pile wall built along the same slope 20 years ago. Post construction monitoring results confirm predicted performance.
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