DFI Journal - The Journal of the Deep Foundations Institute

Volume 1, Issue 1, January 2007

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Design of Drilled Shafts Supporting Sound Walls

Ke Yang; Robert Y. Liang; Jamal Nusairat; Naser Abu-Hejleh


Drilled shafts are widely adopted as the foundation for sound walls. However, there has been a lack of uniformity in design and analysis methods and design criteria, in terms of factor of safety against ultimate capacity failure as well as the allowable deflection. In order to establish a uniform design methodology for the drilled shafts supporting sound walls in cohesive and cohesionless soils, respectively, a database of fullscale lateral load tests on fully instrumented drilled shafts was collected. Based on the compiled database, existing design methods and design criteria of laterally loaded drilled shafts were evaluated. Broms method and COM624P (or LPILE) are suggested as the design methods for drilled shafts supporting sound walls in both cohesive and cohesionless soils. Additionally, the corresponding design criteria, including factor of safety and permissible deflection, for both design methods are recommended. Two full-scale lateral load tests on fully instrumented drilled shafts were subsequently conducted in Colorado to further verify the design recommendation. A comprehensive geotechnical investigation program was also carried out at the two new lateral load test sites that included pressuremeter test, SPT, as well as laboratory triaxial consolidated undrained tests and direct shear tests on the soil samples taken from the lateral load test sites. The test results obtained at these two load test sites were employed to validate the recommended geotechnical design and geotechnical testing methods for the drilled shafts supporting sound walls.