About the Group
There are hundreds of miles of retaining wall systems that exist in the western United States. Their routine design for static applications has been practiced by many public and private sectors. However, seismic design of these retaining walls has not been extensively developed with a lack of accurate and reliable guidelines in the existing design codes and specifications. In this research project, funded by Caltrans, two full-size semi-gravity reinforced concrete cantilever walls designed according to the typical plans in the current design specifications at Caltrans are tested at the NEES Large High-Performance Outdoor Shake Table at the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center of UC San Diego. The first retaining wall that is tested does not have a sound wall, and the second retaining wall has a sound wall on top of the retaining wall. The walls are backfilled with typical Caltrans soil and supported on flexible foundation in a steel laminar soil box placed on the shake table. The purpose of this project is to develop improved and validated rational guidelines for seismic design of retaining walls to overcome the drawbacks in the existing Caltrans design specifications and tools.