A full scale MSE wall was constructed and piles were driven at various distances behind the wall. Lateral load testing was conducted and the performance of the pile, wall, and reinforcement were measured. The piles were 12.75 inch pipe piles, and the wall was reinforced with welded wire grid reinforcement. The objective of the testing was to characterize the relationship between the lateral pile resistance and the distance of the pile behind the back face of the MSE wall. Load-displacement curves are presented for the piles located behind the wall at 66 inches (5.3 diameters), 55 inches (4.3 diameters), 41 inches (3.2 diameters), and 24 inches (1.9 diameters). The lateral resistance of the piles decreases as the spacing behind the wall decreases. The results of the testing have been matched in LPILE using p-multipliers to reduce the lateral resistance. A curve has been developed showing the variation of p-multiplier with normalized pile spacing behind the wall, including data from previous studies. The curve suggests that a p-multiplier of 1 (no reduction in lateral resistance) can be used when the normalized distance from the back face of the wall to the center of the pile is at least 4 pile diameters. The p-multiplier decreases relatively linearly for smaller spacings.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





MSE Wall, Piles, Lateral Pile Resistance, p-multipliers