Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Hagerty, Donald J.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Imam, Ibrahim N.

Committee Member

Ullrich, C. Robert

Committee Member

Watters, James C.

Committee Member

Weigel, Terence A.

Author's Keywords

Retention systems


Shafts (Excavations); Excavation; Soil stabilization


An investigation was made into the relative costs of excavation retention by two systems: conventional soldier pile-wale-tieback support, and support by soil nailing. The investigation included design of excavation supports by the two aforementioned systems for fifteen actual excavations, the majority of which were accomplished in the Louisville, Kentucky area. The design was optimized to arrive at minimum cost solutions. In all cases, the soil nailing system was much less costly than the conventional system. Several factors appeared to make soil nailing more economical than conventional retention systems, if deformations and settlement of soil nailing systems can be tolerated: lower cost for construction materials; quicker mobilization of installation equipment; faster construction time; smaller construction space requirements; and less need for heavy equipment.