We have a client who is looking to make a relatively deep cut in a mixture of soils and rock (approximately. 50 ft [15.2 m] high, maximum; the structures will be placed on a pad at the bottom of the cut). We are looking to provide a shotcrete facing for the entire cut area. The upper portion of the cut will be in soil; therefore, the design of a soil nail wall with temporary and permanent facing in the soil region seems to be relatively straightforward using design guidance in FHWA publications, Geotechnical Engineering Circular #7, and some software programs. Significant portions of the exposed cut face, however, consist of nondurable bedrock (claystone). We want to stabilize this area with shotcrete to prevent weathering and the generation of overhang conditions where the claystone is overlain by a more durable sandstone. I have been unable to find design procedures or guidance on specifying shotcrete (thickness, reinforcement type, etc.) and whether or not rock bolts should be used. If so, how do you select the size, spacing, resin type, etc.?
Soil and rock stabilization is an excellent application for shotcrete. However, ASA as an association does not provide engineering design. We recommend consulting with a geotechnical engineer familiar with the local geology and soil conditions to evaluate potential lateral earth forces from the claystone. Once potential loads are established, a consulting engineer experienced with shotcrete in soil nailing applications will be able to design the soil nail facing. You can check our online Buyers Guide to find a consulting engineer experienced with shotcrete.
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