American Society of Civil Engineers

LRFD for Earth Retaining Structures in U.S. Transportation Practice

by Naresh C. Samtani, Ph.D., P.E., (President, NCS Consultants, LLC, 640 W Paseo Rio Grande, Tucson, AZ 85737. E-mail: and Paul J. Sabatini, Ph.D., P.E., (Associate, Geosyntec Consultants, 1420 Kensington Road, Suite 103, Oakbrook, IL 60523. E-mail:
Section: Load and Resistance Factor Design, pp. 826-843, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Earth Retention Conference 3
Abstract: This paper describes the geotechnical aspects of earth retaining structures in the context of U.S. transportation practice based on Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) methodology as adopted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The paper provides information on: (1) basic concepts of LRFD; (2) limit states, loads, load factors and resistance factors for earth retaining structures; (3) comparisons with past practice based on allowable stress design (ASD); and (4) considerations for limit state analyses for earth retaining structures in an LRFD framework. Fill and cut walls are addressed.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Load and resistance factor design
Retaining structures
Soil structures