Private Residence

Glencoe, IL



monitoring construction
retaining wall

This new residence was constructed on a property overlooking Lake Michigan and including an existing 20 ft retaining wall along the bluff. The owners wanted to enhance sight lines to the lake by constructing a pool adjacent to the retaining wall. SGH evaluated the existing retaining wall and designed alterations, including lowering the top of the wall and modifying the wall’s support conditions around the pool.

Scope | Solutions

SGH performed a condition assessment, made observations at test pits, and reviewed drawings of the 1990s steel solider pile and timber lagging retaining wall. We concluded that the retaining wall had sufficient service life and could be modified to accommodate the desired pool layout. 

We developed an innovative solution to limit the wall’s interference with the pool and analyzed global and local wall stability during construction and in the final configuration. Highlights of our design include the following:

  • Installing steel walers and helical tiebacks interfacing with the existing solider piles
  • Load testing helical piles to ensure proper installation and design capacity
  • Cutting existing tiebacks and removing existing concrete deadman

SGH developed a plan for monitoring retaining wall movement during construction of the new residence behind the wall and also developed recommendations for periodically monitoring the wall over its service life.


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