New design criteria for Reinforced Masonry (RM) Soundwalls, developed by Caltrans following the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake, were proof-tested at the Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories at the University of California, San Diego, on five full-scale soundwall test specimens. Two types of soundwalls were investigated, namely 4.3 m (14 ft) tall barrier rail and cantilever bridge deck mounted soundwalls and 4.9 m (16 ft) tall free-standing soundwalls supported by a pile cap beam or strip footing. For both types of soundwall, real time dynamic shake table tests and quasi-static fully reversed cyclic reaction wall tests were performed. In addition, a reaction wall test on a free-standing companion soundwall with mortarless head joints was performed. All tests showed that the new design details, with two layers of reinforcement, developed wall strength and ductility levels which significantly exceeded the Caltrans design criteria. Both shake table and reaction wall tests showed similar response and confirmed the equivalency of the quasi-static vs. dynamic testing approaches. Free-standing soundwalls with mortarless head joints showed very similar load/deformation behavior characteristics to those observed in walls with conventional mortar joints. Problems were encountered in the redesigned soundwalls, but in the dowel connection between the barrier rail and the cantilever bridge deck. Dowel pullout at less than half the nominal yield capacity occurred as a result of inadequate dowel bonding due to use of bonding material which had far exceeded its shelf life. Repair of this deficiency by clamping of the dowel joints and subsequent re-testing confirmed the design capacities of the RM soundwalls with relocation of the failure plane to the bridge deck cantilever overhang.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of California, San Diego

    Department of Structural Engineering, School of Engineering
    La Jolla, CA  United States  92093-0085

    California Department of Transportation

    Division of Structures Design, 1120 N Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95814

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Kakaliagos, A
    • Seible, F
    • Priestley, MJN
  • Publication Date: 1995-6


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 211 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00720132
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/CA/UCSD-95/01, SSRP-95/07
  • Contract Numbers: 59-A-041 (Caltrans)
  • Created Date: Apr 11 1996 12:00AM