Soil Nail Walls

As with all of Nicholson Construction Company’s geotechnical services, our ability to provide value engineering and high-tech design and build capabilities, allows Nicholson to design and construct retaining walls with Soil Nails that provide truly cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing alternatives to more conventional shoring methods.

Built on over 50 years of geotechnical expertise, Nicholson’s soil nailing technology creates retaining walls that reinforce the soil mass without excavating the soil behind the wall. The soil nail walls are constructed in-situ and built in stages from the top down.

The advantages of Nicholson’s soil nailing technology can be applied to new permanent construction, temporary construction and to the restoration of existing structures. During the process, steel reinforcing elements (nails) are installed and grouted over a regular pattern to create a soil that acts as a coherent mass with improved shear strength. This newly reinforced soil mass can then provide stability for landslides, cut slopes and deep excavations.

The implementation of Nicholson’s soil nail wall structures typically involves three stages that are repeated until the desired height of the retaining wall is achieved:

  • The first stage is the excavation of the cut from the top down to a predetermined height.
  • Next, the steel nails, carrying tension, are drilled and grouted into the face at depths and spacings designed to insure that the soil acts as a coherent mass.
  • Finally, the face is reinforced with shotcrete.

For more information on Nicholson’s expertise in the use of soil nail walls or any other specialty techniques, please visit our Soil Nail Walls project case study, call 1-800-388-2340 or contact us today.


Common Uses for Soil Nail Walls

  • Providing an earth retention system for deep excavations.
  • Creating permanent retaining walls.
  • Stabilizing slopes and landslides.
  • Supporting and strengthening ground around tunnel excavations.
  • Offering temporary shoring during the repair of an existing wall.
  • Controlling ground disturbance.
  • Helping in the preservation of natural areas.
  • Stabilizing vertical cuts in front of existing bridge abutments during highway widening operations.

Benefits of Soil Nails

  • Can be installed quickly and with small-scale equipment.
  • Minimal vibration or displacement of soil during installation.
  • Less underground easement necessary than with conventional tie-back anchors.
  • Movement of the wall can be minimized.
  • Settlement of adjacent buildings can be prevented.
  • The system can be installed underneath an existing structure, thus saving the lateral space usually required by other sheeting and shoring methods.
  • Loss of ground can be prevented.
  • Height of wall is not restricted.
  • Minimize right-of-way requirement.
  • Can be constructed with architecturally pleasing precast panels.
  • Can be used as both temporary and permanent support.