Soil nailing uses grouted, tension-resisting steel elements (nails) installed to reinforce the soil creating a gravity retaining wall for permanent or temporary excavation support. Hayward Baker has both the design and construction experience to safely provide optimal soil nail solutions.

Common Uses:

  • Stabilize slopes and landslides
  • Support excavations
  • Repair existing retaining walls

Technical Details:

Soil nail walls are generally constructed from the top down. Typically, soil is excavated in 3 to 6 feet deep stages After each excavation stage, near-horizontal holes are drilled into the exposed face at typically 3 to 6 foot centers. Tension-resisting steel bars are inserted into the holes and grouted in place. A drainage system is installed on the exposed face, followed by the application of reinforced shotcrete facing. Precast face panels have also been used as wall facing. Bearing plates are then fixed to the heads of the soil nails. This installation process is repeated until the design wall depth is reached. The finished soil nails produce a zone of reinforced ground.

Soil nailing equipment is small enough that it can negotiate restricted access. For existing steep slopes, such as bluffs or existing retaining walls, the soil nails can be installed from crane-suspended working platforms. Care should be used when applying soil nails directly beneath existing structures adjacent to excavations. Hayward Baker has used extensive 3D modeling to avoid conflicts between soil nails and other earth retention systems and to avoid buried utilities.