Improving Strain Wedge Model Capabilities in Analyzing Large Diameter Drilled Shafts Subjected to Lateral Loading in Nevada Soils (NDOT 667-15-803)

Interest in using large-diameter drilled shafts in bridge foundations has increased over the last two decades due to the desire to utilize the shafts' large lateral load capacity. A softer lateral response has been mainly attributed to neglecting the vertical side shear (VSS) resistance that develops with large-diameter drilled shafts. Another contributing factor to this softer response, and a factor that is more pertinent to the soils in Nevada, is the intermittent presence of rock-like material, known as Caliche. Current design approaches, which do not account for VSS, result in a much larger shaft diameter. Proper design is crucial when there are major differences in stiffness between adjacent layers, and it is critical when Caliche layers are present. A single computational tool that can account for various factors, along with the proper integration of VSS with the appropriate soil/rock model, will greatly increase the designer’s confidence in assessing shaft response under lateral loading. The anticipated result is a more efficient foundation design, which ultimately translates into significant cost savings. The objective of this research is to improve the current state of practice regarding the assessment of the lateral load displacement relationship for large diameter shafts embedded in soils that include Caliche.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Nevada Department of Transportation

    1263 South Stewart Street
    Carson City, NV  United States  89712
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Nevada, Reno

    1664 N. Virginia Street
    Reno, Nevada  United States  89557
  • Principal Investigators:

    Elfass, Sherif

  • Start Date: 20160105
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01650577
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Nevada Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 667-15-803
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Nov 6 2017 1:59PM