Evaluation Of Design Methods For Tieback Retaining Walls In Seattle - Introduction

Turner, John P.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
The behavior of tieback retaining walls depends on many factors, including soil properties, groundwater conditions, construction sequence, spacing and stiffness of tiebacks and soldier piles, tieback loads, and others. The primary design considerations for tieback walls are 1) adequate stability and 2) limiting wall movements. Traditional design methods rely on apparent earth pressure diagrams and experience to predict the forces which must be supported by the tiebacks to provide adequate stability. The required soil properties depend upon whether the soil is sand, soft clay, or stiff clay. Design to limit wall movements is more difficult and the usual approach is to design the wall with an adequate factor of safety for stability and then evaluate wall movements during construction through the use of load tests on individual tiebacks and monitoring of wall movements by optical surveying, slope indicators, and extensometers. If excessive movements are likely to occur, it is often not known until construction is well underway. This approach is reflected in the fact that few tieback walls fail due to a lack of adequate stability, while most litigation involving tieback wall performance is related to excessive movements. Much progress has been made in recent years in methods for predicting the movement of all types of insitu retaining walls (Clough et al. 1989, Clough and O'Rourke 1990). These methods are based upon both experience and analytical methods. This paper reviews the methods currently available for evaluating both the stability and movements of tieback retaining walls. Case histories involving excavations constructed in the downtown Seattle area are used to evaluate the applicability of the available methods to Seattle conditions and to illustrate the importance of soil behavior in tieback wall performance.
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