Assessment of Drag Force on Piles Subjected to Service Loads Adjacent to MSE Walls

A large portion of the infrastructures, including bridges in Manitoba, are constructed on problematic alluvial soils such as soft clays. One of the concerns related to the piled foundation bridges is downdrag which is a downward movement of the soil relative to the pile. Drag force is an additional axial force imposed on the pile due to downdrag. Underestimating this force may have detrimental impacts, including excessive settlement or even failure of structures. The research will be performed to provide a better insight into the mechanism and development of downdrag on piles and develop an instrumentation program and associated analysis method to be used by practitioners to assess negative skin friction on any pile installation. The case study for this research is an active construction bridge site named Daly Overpass, Brandon, MB, Canada. The knowledge and methods developed during this research are significant for improving pile foundation design in regions with downdrag potential, which is highly beneficial for provinces with soft soils like Manitoba.

Sepehr Chalajour
Faculty Supervisor: 
James Blatz
Partner University: