This report summarizes results of a literature review concerning methods of evaluating lateral load capacity of vertical piles. Three basic approaches are discussed: load tests (full-sized and scaled models), prescription values, and analytical solutions. Two analytical methods that appear to be used widely are described in some detail -- one developed by Bengt B. Broms and another by Lymon C. Reese. Both researchers treat a pile as a beam on an elastic foundation. Broms incorporates simplifying assumptions that facilitate manual solutions, while the Reese method provides for more varied conditions and generally requires using a computer. A step-by-step procedure and an illustrative example are included for each method. It is concluded that empirical-analytical methods now are the most feasible approach to estimating lateral load capacity in most situations. Broms's and Reese's methods are considered to provide rational design procedures, the choice between them depending upon the complexity of soil and pile conditions. Load tests should be reserved for only the most critical situations and when economically warrented. Prescription values generally provide a crude approximation, at best, unless based on extensive experience under similar conditions. Values used for designing a particular structure should reflect past experience and sound engineering judgement.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 49 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00158099
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWANYSDOT-ERD77-RR 47,
  • Contract Numbers: HPR 71-1
  • Created Date: Oct 13 2003 12:00AM