EVALUATION OF BULKHEAD AND EXCAVATION BRACING FAILURES

Both Bulkhead and excavation bracing are complex structural systems that involve these distinctly different components: the soil that is supported, the wall and its structural supports which restrain soil, and external loads which must be supported by the wall. Failure, from the functional point of view does not necessarily imply rupture of the system; failure occurs when the function of either the retaining structure or the external load is impaired. Failure and lessons learned from such experiences are detailed: the limitations of loading for earth retaining structures should be incorporated in the legal documents of property transfer - these limitations must be enforced to avoid catastrophic failures; and even a major soil failure does not necessairly mean destruction of the entire system. A failure caused by a ship striking the sheet piling of a bulkhead is described, the corrective measures involved are detailed and the lessons from the failure are outlined. It is pointed out that anchor connections require flexibility, the workmanship must be adequate, conservative anchor design is essential, and a structure should be checked for signs of unusual distress after it is subject to unusual loads. Failure involving an office building in downtown Atlanta is detailed and the lessons learned are highlighted, namely: structural damage can occur even though no failure takes place in either the bracking system or the soil it supports; a careful survey should be made of the adjoining structures to determine their condition before construction commences; plans and specifications must be enforced immediately; and lastly, excavation bracing systems are complex structures which require expert design and experienced inspection and supervision of construction.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Wells (Edward) and Sons, Limited

    143/145 Camberwell New Road
    London SE5,   England 

    Foundation Publications Limited

    7 Ongar Road
    Brentwood CM15 9AU, Essex,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Sowers, G F
  • Publication Date: 1975-7

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 19-26
  • Serial:
    • GROUND ENGINEERING
    • Volume: 8
    • Issue Number: 4
    • Publisher: EMAP CONSTRUCT LIMITED
    • ISSN: 0017-4653

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127476
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 10 1976 12:00AM