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Draft for comments









20 years have passed since Manual on the Design and Construction of Well and Pile Foundations was published in 1985. Since then lots of advances have occurred in well design and construction. These developments have been captured in recent A&C slips and editions of IRS Substructure & Foundation Code, IRC:78, IS:456, and IRS Concrete Bridge Code. Very recently in 2005, Member Engineering has also issued two technical instructions 1 & 2 for design and construction of well foundation. All these developments, including learnings from experiences of renowned ex-civil engineers like Vijay Singh, L. Singh and H.K.L. Sethi have been captured in this draft guideline. We hope to get further suggestions and comments from Zonal Railways for making it better. I congratulate Mr. A.K. Gupta, Director/B&S/CB-II and his team consisting of Mr. P.P. Singh, ADE/CB-II and Mr. Binay Kumar, SE/Design for coming out with this draft.

( Lalloo Singh ) ED/B&S

Sl.No. 1.0 2.0 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 4.0 4.1 4.2 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 7.0 7.1 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.2.1 8.2.2 Description Introduction Comparison with Pile foundation Types of Wells and its Suitability Circular Well Double D Well Double Octagonal well Rectangular Well Twin Circular Well Wells with Multiple Dredge Holes Well Foundations in Existing Important Railway Bridges Ganga Bridge at Mokameh Jogigopha bridge near Jogigopha on River Brahmaputra Design parameters Founding Level of Wells Below HFL Design of Well Steinning Design of Well Curb Material to be used Concrete Under Water Concreting Steel Well Sinking and Sinking Effort Precautions during Well Sinking Well Design and Soil Parameters Preliminary Design Design and Analysis of Well Foundation by Substructures Code Design Settlement of Well Foundation References Appendix-A (MEs Technical Instruction No.2) Page No. 4 4 6 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 9 9 10 12 15 16 16 18 20 21 21 24 24 25 25 31 37 38

The guidelines on well foundation for Railway Bridges over Indian Railways
1.0 Introduction: Well foundations had their origin in India and have been used for hundreds of years for providing deep foundations below the spring water level for important buildings and structures. The technique of sinking masonry wells for drinking water is very ancient and even today small drinking water wells are constructed all over the country using the same methods as were prevalent centuries ago. Well foundations were used for the first time for important irrigation structures on the Ganga canal including solani aqueduct at Roorkee (India), which were constructed in the middle of the nineteenth century. With the advent of Railways in India, construction of a large number of bridges across major rivers became necessary and it was recognized very soon that much bigger and deeper well foundations were required for their piers and abutments.

2.0 i)

Comparison with Pile Foundation Well foundations provide a solid and massive foundation for heavy loads as against a cluster of piles which are slender and weak individually and are liable to get damaged when hit by floating trees or boulders rolling on the river bed in case of bridge piers. Wells have a large cross sectional area and the bearing capacity of soil for this area is much greater than that of the same soil at the same depth for bearing piles of small cross-section. Well foundations can be provided upto any depth if only open sinking is involved and upto a depth of 33.5m if pneumatic sinking is required to be done. Pile foundations are generally economical upto a depth of 18m and in some cases for depths upto 27m. Piles can not be driven through soil having boulders. Logs of wood which are very often found buried even at great depths also obstruct a pile. It is possible to sink a well after over coming these obstructions.





The size of well foundations cannot be reduced indefinitely as the dredge hole must be enough to enable a grab to work and the steining must have the thickness necessary to provide the required sinking effort. It is, therefore, not economical to use well foundations for very small loads and pile foundations are more suitable for them. Wells are hollow at the center and most of the material is at the periphery. This provides a large section modulus with the minimum cross-sectional area. They can resist large horizontal forces and can also take vertical loads even when the unsupported length is large. The section modulus of individual piles in a cluster is small and cannot carry large horizontal force or vertical loads when the unsupported length is considerable as in case of bridge piers and abutments in scourable riverbeds. The bearing capacity of a pile is generally uncertain. In most cases, it is not possible to determine the exact strata through which each individual pile has passed. It can not be said with confidence in the case of bearing piles if they have gone and rested on the strata taken into account while designing them or if they are resting only on an isolated boulder. In case of wells sunk by dewatering or pneumatic sinking, it is possible to visually examine the strata through which sinking is done in its natural state and the material on which they are finally founded. Even when sinking is done by dredging, the dredged material gives a fairly good idea of the strata through which the well is sunk. Drilled piles and caisson piles also have this advantage over the driven piles. Masonry in the steining wells is done under dry conditions and the quality of masonry or concrete is much better than in case of cast in situ piles for which concreting is done below the ground level and in many cases below the water level, where it can not be inspected. Even in case of precast piles, the concrete is subjected to a lot of hammering and damage to it cannot be ruled out. In case of wells raising of the well steining and sinking are done in stages and a decision about the foundation level can be taken as the work progresses piles and the strata conditions become known . In case of precast piles, a decision about the depth has to be taken in advance. If the bearing





capacity of the piles at the design depth is found to be less than the calculated value after testing, it may become necessary to redesign the foundation and the piles of short length already cast may have to be rejected or additional number of piles may have to be provided in each cluster. On the other hand if the strata is too hard, it may not be possible to sink them to the design depth and the piles may have to be cut which is costly and wasteful. This does not apply to cast in situ piles. 3.0 Well Types and Their Suitability The followings are the different types of well in common use in Indian Railways as well as roadways. The advantages and disadvantages of each type have also been discussed as below: 3.1 Circular well This type of well is used most commonly and the main points in its favour are its strength. Simplicity in construction and ease in sinking. It requires only one dredger for sinking and its weight per sq. metre of surface is the highest due to which the sinking effort for this well is also high. The distance of the cutting edge from the dredge hole is uniform all over and the chances of tilting are the minimum for this type of well. The well is generally adopted for piers of single track railway bridges and those of bridges on narrow roads. When the piers are very long the size of circular wells becomes unduly large, which makes them costly and disadvantageous hydraulically also as they cause excessive obstruction to the flow of water. Nine metres is generally considered as the maximum diameter of circular wells. Allowing cantilever of one metre on either side the maximum length of the pier resting on this type of well is about 11 metres. 3.2 Double D well This type of well is most common for the piers and abutments of bridges which are too long to be accommodated on circular well. The shape is simple and it is easy to sink this type of well also. The dimensions of the well are so determined that the length and the width of the dredge holes are almost equal. It is also recommended by some engineers that the overall

length of the well should not be more than double the width.


disadvantage of this type of well is that considerable bending moments are caused in the steining due to the difference in the earth pressure from outside and water pressure from inside which result in vertical cracks in the steining particularly in the straight portions where join the partition wall. 3.3 Double Octagonal Well These type of wells are free from the shortcoming of double D-well. Blind corners are eliminated and bending stresses in the steining are also reduced considerably. They, however, offer greater resistance against sinking on account of the increased surface area. Masonry in steining is also more difficult than in case of double D wells. 3.4 Rectangular Well These type of foundations are generally adopted for bridge foundations having shallow depths. They can be adopted very conveniently where the bridge is designed for open foundations and a change of well foundations becomes necessary during the course of construction on account of adverse conditions such as excessive in flow of water and silt into the excavation. 3.5 Twin circular well This type of foundation consists of two independent circular wells placed very close to each other with a common well cap. It is necessary to sink these wells simultaneously to ensure that the cutting edges are almost at the same level all the time. The wells have a tendency to tilt towards each other during the course of sinking on account of the fact that the sand between them becomes loose and does not offer as much resistance against sinking as on the other sides. If the depth of sinking is small say upto 6 or 7 metres, the clear space between the two wells may be kept 0.6 to 1 m to avoid tilting. For greater depth of sinking spacing of 2 to 3 meters may be necessary. Since it is necessary to sink these wells simultaneously it is obligatory to have two sets of equipment for well sinking and in this respect they do not offer any advantage over double D or double octagonal wells. They are,

however, advantageous where the length of the pier is considerable and the sizes of the double D or octagonal wells become unduly large to accommodate the pier. If , however, the soil is weak, the larger size of double D or double octagonal wells may be required to keep the bearing pressure on the soil within limits. Twin circular wells are advantageous only when the depths of sinking is small and the foundation material is soft rock or kankar or some other soil capable of taking fairly high loads. Design of well caps for the twin circular wells also requires special care. Allowance is made for relative settlement of the two wells and this adds to its cost. The possibility of development of cracks in the pier due to relative settlement can not be ruled out inspite of the heavy design of the cap except where the wells are founded on rock or other incompressible soils. 3.6 Wells with Multiple Dredge Holes For piers and abutments of very large sizes, wells with multiple dredge holes are used. Wells of this type are not common in India. Wells of this type were, however, used for the towers of Howrah Bridge. The size of these wells is 24.8m x 55m and there are 21 dredge holes in each of them, In the United States wells of this type are more common. The overall dimension of the largest well are 60.5m x 29.6m and they support the piers of San Francisco okland bridge. Each well has 55 square dredge holes of 5.2m x 5.2m size. 4.0 4.1 Well Foundations in Existing Important Railway bridges Ganga Bridge at Mokameh Well for the foundation has been fixed to be at 53 ft. 6 inch x 32 ft. size with semicircular ends. It has two dredge holes 14 ft. D shaped. They are covered by a 6 ft. deep well raft. The well curbs of the main piers were made of mild steel and are 14 ft 10 inch in height and weight about 125 ton each. The well curb were designed in steel instead of reinforced concrete.

HKL Sethi 1963

The wells were designed in mass concrete with 9 ft. thick steining. The wells were provided with cement concrete plugs both at the top and at the bottom, the intermediate portion being filled up with sand. A grip equal to one third of the maxm. scour was required, while according to Gales a grip of 65 ft. should be provided. Keeping in view the enormous discharge and the importance of this bridge, a grip of 65 ft. was provided. This gave a depth of 126 + 65 = 191 ft. below the HFL. Two wells next to abutments were sunk 10 ft. deeper to counter the extreme scour conditions, which may be experienced around them. 4.2 Jogighopa Bridge near Jogighopa on river Brahmaputra2 The conventional double D shaped wells with outer plan dimensions of 17.00 x 11.00m were provided at all locations except abutments and two adjacent piers. Abutments are supported on 6.0m diameter twin circular wells with common well cap. Double D wells as well as circular wells were provided with 2.5m thick diaphragms in longitudinal direction. and that in circular wells is 3.5m at base and 3.0m at the top: Foundation Design parameters: Design discharge 90400 cumecs. Design discharge intensity 90 cumecs/m max. Max. velocity of flow 5.0m/sec. Design founding level RL (-) 36.75m Buoyancy. Well resting on sand 100% Well resting on rock 75% Max. tilt 1 in 80 Maxm shift - D/40 5.0 Design Parameters3 The thickness of steining, in double D wells is 2.80m with 2.5m thick diaphragm

2 3

L. Singh 1998 MEs Technical Note No.1


Founding Level of Wells Below HFL: Rivers with scourable beds increase their cross sections when they are in flood by the rise in the water level and also by scouring their beds thus increasing the depth of flow. Rivers in regime, which flow through incoherent alluvium and are free to adjust their width of flow and their depth with equal ease, acquire an elliptical cross section in the straight reaches with the highest flood level as their major axis.


Under Normal Conditions The depth of well foundations is decided with respect to the maximum scour and stability. The depth of foundation should not be less than 1.33 times the deepest scour below HFL, and it should be so selected that it provides necessary stability with respect to overturning and sliding. The method of determining foundation depth is explained in following paras: Normal depth of scour (D) below HFL should be maximum of: Using Laceys formula for Design discharge Q (Cumecs) {DL =0.473 (Q/f)1/3} Where f is the silt factor for representative sample of bed material obtained from scour zone, and value of f for different bed material is given in para 4.6.5 of IRS Substructure Code (applicable for medium sand) = 1.76 m (m being diameter of bed material in mm over scourable depth), The value is generally taken as 1.00 which is in itself quite conservative. Extra allowance should however, be made when the bank or a portion of the river bed are non scourable. Before applying Laceys equation for scour depth, the width of the channel should be measured and checked with the width calculated by the following equation given by the Lacey: L = 4.85Q


Where L = Linear watering in metres, Q = maximum flood discharge in m3/sec. If actual width is lesser than the width given by Laceys equation on account of restraint on the river due to non-scourable banks or if it is proposed to construct a bridge having a lesser water way than that given by Laceys equation, the scour depth worked out by Laceys equation should be
w increased by multiplying with factor w c

, where wc is the constricted

water way and w is the Laceys regime width. Alternatively; For design discharge intensity in cumecs due to constriction of waterway on account of pier width, as per provisions of IRS Substructure Code {DL = 1.34 (q2/f)1/3} where q is the discharge intensity in cubic metre per second per meter width and f is the silt factor When the bridge piers are placed in the flow due to obstructions caused by them, the scour increases around them. The multiplying factor is given in para 4.6.6 of IRS Substructure Code. Increase in depth of scour for design of foundation due to local scour around nose of piers = 2DL This, however, needs to be checked from observed scour around piers as per hydraulic model study. Scour depth reported by model study need not be doubled as in case of calculations done for normal scour. Grip length = one third of 2DL. However, adequacy of grip length should be checked for stability of well pressure including safe bearing capacity of soil with all vertical and horizontal loads as applicable under normal conditions. (b) Under Seismic Conditions Procedure same as above under normal conditions, but design parameters like discharge, intensity of discharge, HFL etc. should be for seismic conditions as per provisions of IRS Substructure Code. Adequacy of grip length under this condition shall be checked with values of loads and


moments for seismic forces as per dynamic analysis carried out by approved methods like one done by IIT/ Kanpur or Roorkee etc. c) Low water level Depth of foundation is always measured below LWL. It is customary to place the bottom of the well cap at LWL. This is done in order to enable inspection of the well cap. Low water level is determined from gauge levels of the river for as large period as possible particularly from consideration of as long working period as possible. From the available charts, LWL adopted should give ideally 150/ 180 days for working. Of course in river like Brahmaputra this is not available where maximum time available is 130/140 days. Thus LWL is not necessarily the lowest gauge level. This is also important so that the well cap can be cast without use of coffer dams etc. d) Check for bearing capacity Most of deep foundations are on sandy beds at foundation level. allowable bearing capacity can be calculated by q q N B D = = = = = 5.4N2B + 16 (100 +N2) D Allowable soil pressure in kg/sq.m SPT value. Smaller dimension of well cross section in metre. Depth of foundation level below scour level in metre. The

For calculating Bending moment both active and passive soil pressures around the well should be considered. A factor of safety usually of 3 is taken. 5.2 a) Design of Well Steining: Design of Steining: The normal Railway practice is to provide plain cement concrete. The reinforcement provided in such cases is very nominal in the form of bond rods and lateral ties. Bond reinforcement of about 0.12% of


sectional area and ties of about 0.04% of the volume per unit length is found to be adequate and should be adopted. Check against tensile stresses in steining causing cracking should be made using following formula both for seismic and non seismic conditions. Soil Pressure =

2q ( B SinBSin 2 x - sin B cos 2 x)

F =

F = tensile stress in t/m2. M = Moment in t m. A = Cross Section area in sq.m. Z = Sectional modules of well in m3. q = Density of soil = 1.5 t/m3 P= Total lateral pressure in t/m2. The above was used in checking stresses in Mokamah bridge over River Ganga. Details in Technical Paper No. 336 Ganga Bridge at Mokamah by Shri H.K.L. Sethi. b) Thickness of Well Steining Thickness of well steining is always designed in consideration of sinking effort required to sink the well without taking recourse to use of kentledge or dewatering. The sinking effort available may be calculated by simple calculation based on following, taking due account of buoyancy . f=

Axw H1 ( w ) H 2 ( w ) + + X P H3 w H3 w



f= A= w= = P=

Average sinking effort in t/m2. Cross sectional area of well steining in (m2) Unit weight of plain concrete in t/m3 Unit weight of water in 1 t/m3 Perimeter of well in (m)

Values of H1, H2, H3 are as shown in the figure H1 = height of well above water. H2 = height of well below water level and upto bed level H3 = depth of well below bed level, where skin friction applies. In limiting conditions, H1 = 0, H2 < of H3, hence H2/ H3 is neglected. Hence f =
Axw { w P w




Taking weight of concrete as 2.3 t/m3

f = 1.3 weight of steining per meter length of well (w) x 2 .3 perimeter (P)
4 w x 7 P

This is nearly taken as

The skin friction of soil varies at different level and is dependent upon type of soil also. This can be calculated by using following formula:
F =1 / 2 ka.( Z 2Cka ) tan 2 3

Where, F = Skin friction in t/m2.


Ka C Z r

= = = = =

Active pressure coefficient Angle of shearing resistance of soil (degrees) Half of unconfined compressive strength. Depth of foundation below Scour level (m) Density of soil in t/m3.

This is calculated below LWL. But empirical values are also safely used with fair degree of confidence. Stiff and soft = Clay Dense sand = = Very soft clay = Dense gravel = 5t/m2. Thus using the Formula available, sinking effort can be verified from (f = 4/7 W/P). c) Grade of Concrete Concrete steining for the well is traditionally and conventionally treated as MCC/ Plain concrete only and never as RCC. This is not withstanding the fact that reinforcements are provided in the concrete but they are meant for temperature, shrinkage, and bond. This has been the practice in Indian Railways for ages and has stood well. The concrete is generally not richer than M-15 (1:2:4) 5.3 Design of Well Curb Most important element of well curb is the cutting edge. This is designed from consideration of following: It should be able to cut through hard strata. It should be able to stand on a single point in case of a sloping rock/ large boulder, tree trunk etc. without getting damaged. It should be able to withstand additional forces caused by occasional blasting. 0.73 to 2.93 t/m2 4.88 to 19.53 t/m2 1.23 to 3.42 t/m2 3.42 to 6.84 t/m2 4.88 to 9.76 t/m2

For alluvial deposits, minimum sinking effort required is of the order of


There is no known methodology for the design. More commonly is to use a design which has proved itself for various important Railway bridges under very difficult conditions. For a typical circular and Double D well for large well foundations, know design is available as per the enclosed sketch. Double D type is more prone to tilt and shift due to unsymmetrical shape and possible unequal dredging. Thus, it is essential that the well is heavy in deep foundation. Only part of the well curb should be armoured, may be 1 to 1.5 metres level from the cutting edge level, as shown in the sketch. Well curb should have an offset (7.5sm in Jogigopha bridge) all around the well steining. This is for the purpose of reducing skin friction during sinking operation by keeping the soil close to the steining in disturbed condition. Cutting edge inner angle was 24o upto 2m height in Jogigopha bridge. Well curb should be placed on a platform/ Island built on river bed. In Jogigopha bridge, for example, island was created upto depth of 5m by driving two rows of 6 sal ballies by 1 ton monkey at 0.8m c/c upto a depth of 4m below river bed. Bamboo mattings were tied with the two rows and the space between them were filled with sand bags, to build a 25m dia islands by filling with sand by crane/ dredger. For wells in deeper locations Caissons were fabricated and launched in the river. These were of mild steel plate shells with angle struts, with 215 T of steel in 15 m height of Caisson. Typical sketches of well curbs have been shown in Appendix A, as included in MEs Technical Instruction No.2.

6.0 6.1

Material to be used: Concrete In specifying a particular grade of concrete, the following information should be included: a) b) Type of mix, that is, design mix concrete as nominal mix concrete. Grade designation


c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j) k) l)

Type of cement Maximum nominal size of aggregate. Minimum cement content (for design mix concrete) Maximum water cement ratio. Workability Mix proportion (for nominal mix concrete) Exposure conditions As guided by table No. 4 & 5 of IS-456:2000. Maximum temperature of concrete at the time of placing. Method of placing and Degree of supervision.

The protection of the steel in concrete against corrosion depends upon an adequate thickness of good quality of concrete. The free water cement ratio is an important factor in governing the durability of concrete and should always be the lowest value. Cement content not including fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag in excess of 450 kg/m3 should not be used unless special consideration has been given in design to the increased risk of cracking due to drying shrinkage in thin sections as to early thermal cracking and to the increased risk of damage due to alkali silica reactions. (Clause N0. 5.2.1 of IRS CBC) When the designer wishes to have an estimate of the tensile strength from compressive strength, the following expression may be used. fcr = 0.7 f ck where, fcr is the flexural strength in N/mm2; and fck is the characteristic compressive strength of concrete in N/mm2. (Clause No. 14.2.2 of IS-456:2000) Under water concrete should have a very high degree of workability and confirm to IS:9103. The water cement ratio shall not exceed 0.6 and may need to be smaller, depending on the grade of concrete or the type of chemical attack. For aggregates of 40 mm


maximum particle size, the cement content shall be at least 350 kg/m3 of concrete. (Clause No. 708.3.1 IRC 78:2000) In case of plain concrete wells, the concrete mix for the steining shall not normally be leaner than M-15. In case of marine or other similar conditions of adverse exposure, the concrete in the steining shall not be less than leaner than M-20 with cement not less than 310 kg/m3 of concrete and the water cement ratio not more than 0.45. (Clause No. 708.7.3 IRC 78:2000) The well curb shall invariably be in reinforced concrete of mix not leaner than M-25. (Clause No. 708.8.2 IRC 78:2000) The mix used in bottom plug shall have a minimum cement content of 330 kg/m3 and a slump of about 150mm to permit easy flow of concrete through tremie to fill up all cavities. Concrete shall be laid in one continuous operation till dredge hole is filled to required height. For under water concreting the concrete shall be placed gently by tremie boxes under still water condition and the cement contents of mix be increased by 10 percent. (Clause No. 708.8.3 IRC 78:2000) In case grouted concrete, e.g. concrete is used, the grout mix shall not be laner than 1:2 and it shall be ensured by suitable means, such as, controlling the rate of pumping that the grout fills up all inter stices upto to the top of the plug. (Clause No. 708.8.4 IRC 78:2000) If any dewatering is required it shall be carried out after 7 days have elapsed after bottom plugging. (Clause No. 708.10.1 IRC 78:2000) A 300mm thick plug of M-15 cement concrete shall be provided over the filling. 6.2 Under water concreting: (Clause N0. 14.2 & 14.2.4 of IS-456:2000) When it is necessary to deposit concrete under water, the method, equipment, materials and proportions of the mix to be used shall be submitted to and approved by the engineer-in-charge before the work started.


Concrete cast under water should not fall freely through the water. Otherwise it may be leached and become segregated. Concrete shall be deposited continuously until it is brought to the required height. While depositing, the top surface shall be kept as nearly level as possible and the formation of seams avoided. The method to be used for depositing concrete under water shall be one of the followingi) Tremie- The concrete is placed through vertical pipes the lower end of which is always inserted sufficiently deep into the concrete which has been placed previously but has not set. The concrete emerging from the pipe pushes the material that has already been placed to the side and upwards and thus does not come into direct contact with water. When concrete is to be deposited under water by means of tremie, the top section of the tremie shall be a hopper large enough to hold one entire batch of the mix or the entire contents the transporting bucket, if any. The tremie pipe shall be not less than 200mm in diameter and shall be large enough to allow a free flow of concrete and strong enough to withstand the external pressure of the water in which it is suspended, even if a partial vacuum develops inside the pipe. Preferably, flanged steel pipe of adequate strength for the job should be used. A separate lifting device shall be provided for each tremie pipe with its hopper at the upper end. Unless the lower end of the pipe is equipped with an approved automatic check valve, the upper end of the pipe shall be plugged with a wedding of the gunny sacking or other approved material before delivering the concrete to the tremie pipe through the hopper, so that when the concrete is forced down from the hopper to the pipe. It will force the plug (and along with it any water in the pipe) down the pipe and out of the bottom end, thus establishing a continuous stream of concrete. It will be necessary to raise slowly the tremie in order to cause a uniform flow of the concrete but the tremie shall not be emptied so that water enters the pipe. At all times after the placing of concrete


is started and until all the concrete is placed, the lower end of the teremie pipe shall be below the top surface of the plastic concrete. This will cause to the concrete to build up from below instead of flowing out over the surface, and thus avoid the formation of laitance layers. If the change in the tremie is lost while depositing, the tremie shall be raised above the concrete surface and unless sealed by a check valve, it will be replugged at the top end, as at the beginning, before refilling for depositing concrete. ii) Direct placement with pumps As in the case of tremie method, the vertical end piece of the pipe line is always inserted sufficiently deep into the previously cast concrete and should not move to the side during pumping. iii) Drop bottom bucket The top of the bucket shall be covered with a canvas flap. The bottom doors shall open freely downward and outward when tripped. The bucket shall be filled completely and lowered slowly to avoid backwash. The bottom door shall not be opened until the bucket rest on the surface upon which the concrete is to be deposited and when discharged, shall be withdrawn slowly until well above the concrete. 6.3 Steel: (Clause No. 708.3.4 IRC 78:2000) For plain concrete wells, vertical reinforcements (whether mild steel or deformed bars) in the steining shall not be less than 0.12 per cent of gross sectional area of the actual thickness provided. This shall be equally distributed on both faces of steining. The vertical reinforcements shall be tied up with hoop steel not less than 0.04 percent of the volume per unit length of the steining. (Clause No. 708.3.5 IRC 78:2000) In case where the well steining is

designed as a reinforced concrete element, it shall be considered as a column section subjected to combined axial load and bending. However, the amount of vertical reinforcement provided in the steining shall not be less than 0.2 percent (for either mild steel as deformed bars) of the actual gross section area of the steining, on the inner face, a minimum of 0.06 percent of gross


area steel shall be provided. The transverse reinforcement in the steining shall be provided in accordance with the provisions for a column but in no case shall be less than 0.04% of the volume per unit length of the steining. (Clause No. 708.6.1 IRC 78:2000) The mild steel cutting edge shall be strong enough and not less than 40 kg/m to facilitate sinking of the well through the types of strata expected to be encountered without suffering any damage. It shall be properly anchored to the well curb. For sinking through rock cutting edge should be suitably designed. (Clause No. 708.7.3 IRC 78:2000) The well curb shall invariably be in R.C. of mix not leaner than M-25 with minimum reinforcement of 72 kg/m3 excluding bond rods. The steel shall be suitably arranged to prevent spreading and splitting of the curb during sinking and in service. (Clause No. 708.7.4 IRC 78:2000) In case blasting is anticipated, the inner faces of the well curb shall be protected with steel plates of thickness not less than 10mm upto the top of well curb. 7.0 7.1 Well Sinking and Sinking Effort Precautions During Well Sinking The following precautions must be taken during sinking of the wells. i) When the wells to be sunk close to each other and the distances between them is not greater than the diameter of the wells, they should be sunk alternately i.e. one sunk the dia in advance of the other as the wells tend to draw towards each other in case they are sunk simultaneously. Similarly when two parallel rows of wells have to be sunk with centers of each at about 1m apart one row should be sunk before the other or they can be started on different ends or from the center towards two ends. The purpose of this is to disturb the least possible area of the soil in the vicinity of well at one time. It is also advisable to sink the alternate wells in a row in preference to sinking them one after the other.



In sinking of wells joined together, for example, dumb bell shaped wells, the excavation in both the dredge holes should be carried out simultaneously and equally to facilitate even sinking.


The sinking of number of wells commenced in one season should be such that they can be sunk to atleast 66% of their depth before the seasonal flood. Wells not reaching this stage before rains should be brought to the notice of the engineers in charge for his advise about protective measures to be taken e.g. provision of temporary cap. Sand drilling etc.


All precautions should be taken against possible damage to the foundations of structures in the vicinity of the wells prior to commencement of dredging of the material from inside of the well.


During sinking, there is tendency to dump all the dredged material close to the well and only on one side. This causes appreciable difference of pressure on the sides of the well which tends to lean towards the side where material has not been dumped. It is therefore to be ensured that the dredged material is never allowed to accumulate near the well . Firstly, it should be dumped at the time of dredging as far away from the well as possible and then it should be kept being removed simultaneously. The water running out of the excavated material should not be allowed to flow close to the well steining. A temporary drain should be made to take away this water.


In sinking a pair of wells through sandy strata there is a tendency for the two wells to draw closely to each other. These wells may, therefore get considerably titled. To prevent this timber pieces may be introduced in between the steining of the two wells.


Generally in case of abutment wells, there is high bank on one side of the well. The well curb is usually cast by digging up a pit slightly bigger than the dimensions of the well. This results in surcharge on one side of the well, which tends to lean away from the bank. In such cases, it is worth while to spend a little more money in digging


the original pit of sufficiently larger sizes leaving about 6.8 metres clear distance round the well and by not permitting steeper than 1:1 slopes for the walls of the pit. viii) Sometimes, in case of well situated in the river bed, the river stream flow along one edge to the coffer dam made for the sinking of the well. Generally, the dredged material is disposed off on that side where derrick etc. are situated i.e. the edge close to the bank. This causes adverse effect and the well tends to tilt towards the side on which the river current is flowing. Arrangements have therefore to be made for dumping the dredged material on the river current side. ix) The sinking operations should be carried on with great caution whenever cutting edge approaches the junction of different types of strata. To control this boting chart should be consulted regularly. x) When the well curb approaches a hard strata which dips at a considerable angle the well may have a tendency to lean when being sunk. This tendency should be prevented by supporting the well at two or three places on its steining high the ground. A well should also be secured against such possibility where the soil is fluid or semi fluid in nature. b) Sinking of wells: The wells as far as possible be sunk true and vertical. Sinking should not be started till the steining has been cured far at least 48 hours. A complete record of sinking operations including tilt and shifts, kentledge, dewatering, blasting etc. done during sinking shall be maintained. c) Tilt and Shifts4: As far as possible well shall be sunk without any tilt and shift. A tilt of 1 in


Manual on the design and construction well and pile foundation-1985 Cl. No. 15


100 and shift of D/40 subject to a minimum of 150mm shall be taken into account in the design of well foundation (D is the width or diameter of well). If greater tilts and shifts occur their effects on bearing pressure on soil steining stress, change in span etc. should be examined individually. d) Sinking of well by resorting to blasting Blasting may be employed with prior approval of competent authority to help sinking of well for breaking obstacles, such as boulders or far leveling the rock layer for square seating of wells, blasting may be resorted to only when other methods are found ineffective. 8.0 8.1 a) Well Design and Soil Parameters Preliminary Design Shape and size of the well i) ii) The outer sides of the wells should be preferably be vertical. In special cases small offset may be allowed. The horizontal cross section should satisfy the following requirements: The dredge holes should be large enough to permit dredging. The steining thickness should be sufficient to transmit the load and also provide necessary weight for sinking and adequate strength against forces acting on the steining both during sinking and services. iii) It should accommodate the base of the sub-structure and not cause under obstruction to the flow of water. The overall size should be sufficient to transmit the loads to the soils and It should allow for the permissible tilt and shift of the well. When a group or groups of wells are sunk, the minimum spacing between them should not be less than 1m. b) Forces Acting on the Well The following forces which act on the well should be first calculated: i) Dead load of the bridge.


ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii) ix) x) xi) 8.2 8.2.1

Self weight of the wells Live load Longitudinal forces Temperature forces Water forces Wind load Seismic force Buoyancy effect Earth pressure Skin friction

Design and Analysis Of Well Foundation By Sub-Structures Code: Design The design of well foundations shall be carried out for either of the following two situations: i) Wells surrounded by non-cohesive soils, below maximum scour level and resting on non-cohesive soils; ii) Wells surrounded by cohesive soils or mixed strata below maximum scour level and resting on any strata viz. Cohesive soil, noncohesive soil or rock. a) Wells resting on non-cohesive soils For wells resting on non-cohesive soils like sand and surrounded by the same soil below a maximum scour level, the design of foundations shall be checked by both Elastic Theory and Ultimate Soil Resistance Methods as given below which are based on IRC:45-1972 Recommendations for Estimating the Resistance of Soil below the maximum scour level in the design of Well Foundation of Bridges. Elastic Theory Method gives the soil pressure at the side and the base under design load, but to determine the actual factor of safety against failure, the ultimate soil resistance is computed.


The provisions given below shall not apply if the depth of embedment is less than 0.5 times the width of foundation in the direction of lateral forces. The resistance of soil surrounding the well foundation shall be checked : i) for calculation of base pressures by the elastic theory with the use of subgrade moduli ; and ii) by computing the ultimate soil resistance with appropriate factor of safety. i) Elastic Theory Step 1: Determine the values of W, H and M under combination of normal loads without wind and seismic loads assuming the minimum grip length below maximum scour level, Where, W = total downward load acting at the base of well, including the self

weight of well. H M = = external horizontal force acting on the well at scour level. total applied external moment about the base of well, including

those due to tilts and shifts. Step 2 : Compute IB and IV and I Where, I = IB + mIv (1+2 ) IB = moment of inertia of base about the axis normal to direction of

horizontal forces passing through its C.G. Iv = moment of inertia of the projected area in elevation of the soil mass LD 3 offering resistance = 12 where,


L = projected width of the soil mass offering resistance multiplied by appropriate value of shape factor. Note: The value of shape factor for circular wells shall be taken as 0.9. For square or rectangular wells where the resultant horizontal force acts parallel to a principal axis, the shape factor shall be unity & where the forces are inclined to the principal axis, a suitable shape factor shall be based on experimental results : D = depth of well below scour level m= KH / K : Ratio of horizontal to vertical coefficient of subgrade reaction at base. In the absence of values for KH and K determined by field tests m shall generally be assumed as unity. = Coefficient of friction between sides and the soil = tan , where is the angle of wall friction between well and soil. =
B for rectangular well 2D

diameter for circular well. .D

Step 3 : Ensure the following : H>

M (1+ ) - W r

and H < M/r (1- ) + W where, r = (D/2) (I / m Iv ) = coefficient of friction between the base and the soil. It shall be taken as tan = angle of internal friction of soil. Step 4 : Check the elastic state


mM/I not greater than (Kp KA) If mM/ I is > (Kp KA), find out the grip required by putting the limiting value mM/ I = (Kp KA) Where, = density of the soil (submerged density to be taken when under water or below water table) Kp & KA = passive and active pressure coefficients to be calculated using Coulombs theory, assuming the angle of wall friction between well and soil equal to 2/3 but limited to a value of 22-1/20. Step 5 : Calculate

1 W ' P MB }= A 2I 2
where, 1 & 2 = max. and min. base pressure respectively. A B P P = area of the base of well. = width of the base of well in the direction of forces and moments. = M/r = horizontal soil reaction. 0 i.e. no tension

Step 6 : Check 2 not smaller than

1 not greater than allowable bearing capacity of soil. Step 7 : If any of the conditions in Steps 3, 4 and 6 or all do not satisfy, redesign the well accordingly.

Step 8 : Repeat the same steps for combination with wind and with seismic case separately.


ii) Ultimate resistance method Step 1: Check that W/A not greater than u/2 W = total downward load acting at the base of well, including the self weight of well, enhanced by a suitable load factor given vide Step 5. A = area of the base of well u = ultimate bearing capacity of the soil below the base of well. Step 2 : Calculate the base resisting moment Mb at the plane of rotation and side resisting moment Ms by the following formulae : Mb = QWB tan B = width in case of square and rectangular wells parallel to direction of forces and diameter for circular wells. Q = a constant as given in Table 1 below for square or rectangular base. A shape factor of 0.6 is to be multiplied for wells with circular base. = angle of internal fricture of soil. TABLE -1 D/B Q 0.5 0.41 1.0 0.45 1.5 0.5 2.0 0.56 2.5 0.64

NOTE: The values of Q for intermediate D/B values in the above range may be linearly interpolated. Ms = 0.10 D3 ( KP KA) L Where, Ms = Side resisting moment


= density of soil (submerged density to be taken for soils under water or below water table) L = projected width of the soil mass offering resistance. In case of circular wells. It shall be 0.9 diameter to account for the shape. D = depths of grip below max. scour level. KP , KA = passive and active pressure coefficient to be calculated using coulombs Theory assuming angle of wall friction between well and soil equal to 2/3 but limited to a value of 22-1/2. Step 3 : Calculate the resisting moment due to friction at front and back faces (Mf) about the plane of rotation by following formulae : (i) For rectangular well Mf = 0.18 ( KP KA) L.B.D2 Sin (ii) for circular well Mf = 0.11 ( KP KA) B2.D2 Sin Step 4: The total resistance moment Mt about the plane of rotation shall be Mt = 0.7 (Mb + Ms + Mf) Step 5 : Check Mt not less than M Where, M = Total applied external moment about the plane of rotation, viz, located at 0.2D above the base, taking appropriate load factors as per combinations given below : 1.1 D .... . (1) (2) (3) (4)

1.1 D B +1.4 (Wc +EP + W of S) . . . 1.1 D +1.6 L 1.1 D B + 1.4 (L + Wc +EP ) .... ...


1.1 D B + 1.25 (L + Wc +EP + W or S) .. Where, D = Dead load. L = Live load including tractive/braking etc. B = Buoyancy Wc = Water current force Ep = Earth pressure W = Wind force S = Seismic force


Note : Moment due to shift and tilt of wells and piers and direct loads, if any, shall also be considered about the plane of rotation. Step 6 : If the conditions in steps 1 and 5 are not satisfied, redesign the well. Note : Notation, symbols given in the clause 3.0 of Bridge Substructure & Foundation Code, Revised in 1985 are not applicable for the above Appendix-V. b) Wells resting on cohesive soils For wells founded in clayey strata and surrounded by clay below max. scour level, the passive earth pressure shall be worked out by C & parameters of the soil as obtained from UU (unconsolidated undrained) test and for stability against overturning, only 50% of the passive earth pressure will be assumed to be Mobilized (Refer para 6.9.3). In wells through clayey strata, the skin friction will not be available during the whole life of the structure, hence support from skin friction should not be relied upon. 8.2.2 Settlement of Well Foundation: i) The settlement of well foundation may be the result of one or more of the following cases: Static loading, Deterioration of the foundation structure;



Mining subsidence; and Vibration subsidence due to underground erosion and other causes. Catastrophic settlement may occur if the static load is excessive. When the static load is not excessive, the resulting settlement may be due to the following :


Elastic compression of the foundation structure; Slip of the foundation structure relative to the soil; Elastic deformation or immediate settlement of the surrounding soil and soil below the foundation structure ; Primary consolidation settlement of the surrounding soil; Primary consolidation settlement of the soil below the foundation structure. Creep of the foundation structure under the constant axial load; and Secondary compression of the surrounding soil and soil below the foundation structure. If a structure settles uniformly, it will not theoretically suffer damage, irrespective of the amount of settlement. induce secondary stresses in the structure. In practice, settlement is generally non-uniform. Such non-uniform settlements Depending upon the permissible extent of these secondary stresses, the settlements have to be limited. Alternatively, if the estimated settlements exceed the allowable limits, the foundation dimensions or the design shall be suitably modified.


The following assumptions are made in settlement analysis : The total stresses induced in the soil by the construction of the structure are not changed by the settlement; Induced stresses on soil layers due to imposed loads can be estimated, and The load transmitted by the structure to the foundation is static and vertical.


In the present state of knowledge, the settlement computations at best estimate the most probable magnitude of settlement. v) It is presumed that the load on the foundation will be limited to a safe bearing capacity and, therefore, catastrophic settlements are not expected. Settlement due to deterioration of foundations, mining and other causes cannot, in the present state of knowledge, be estimated. Such methods are not also available for computation of settlement due to the slip of foundation structure with reference to the surrounding soils and, therefore, not covered. Wells Founded In Cohesionless Soil : For wells constructed in cohesionless soils, the settlement due to dead load of sub-structure will take place by the time the construction is completed and the necessary adjustment in the final level can be made before erection of the girder. In such cases, settlement shall be evaluated only for the dead load of the super-structure. Wells Founded In Cohesive Soil : When wells are founded in cohesive soil, the total settlement will be computed as per the provisions of clause 6.4. The settlements in clay occur over a long period and time rate of settlement will be computed as per the provisions of clause of Substructure Code. Determination of bearing capacity Bearing capacity for foundations in cohesive strata will be determined in the similar manner as determined in case of foundations in non-cohesive soils (para 6.3.1). Estimation Of Immediate And Primary Consolidation Settlements For computation of immediate settlement and primary consolidation settlement, procedures provided in IS:8009 Part I and Part II Code of Practice for Calculation of Settlement of Foundations, shall be followed.


Estimation of secondary consolidation settlement may be computed as under: The Secondary consolidation settlement may be computed as under:


If the load increment is more than (pc-po) [i.e. p > (pc-po)], then

Ps = (b)

Cc p E log 10 c 1 + e0 po

If the load increment is smaller than pc-po [ i.e. p < (pc-po)],

the corresponding equation will be : ( p + p ) Cc E.Log10 o Ps = po 1 + e0 Where, Ps = Secondary settlement cc = Compression index eo = Initial void ratio Pc= Pre-consolidation pressure Po = Initial effective pressure E = Thickness of clay layer

= Pressure increment

Time Rate of Settlement The Time Rate of Settlement will be computed in accordance with the provisions of IS:8009 (Pt.I) based on Terzaghi's One Dimensional Consolidation Theory. In practice, the consolidation settlements take place much faster than those predicted from Terzaghis Consolidation Theory. Following reasons partly explain the faster rates :


i) ii) iii)

Three dimensional consolidation i.e. lateral release of excess pore pressure; Release of hydrostatic pressure outside the footing area; and Horizontal permeabilities are usually much higher than the vertical.

Therefore, the rate of settlement should be corrected by factor of three to five times faster. Actual rates of settlements in the area for similar cases will be of great value for the accuracy of prediction for rate of settlement. Note: 1. Settlement will be computed for the probable/actual sequence of loading and correction for construction period will be allowed as per the provisions of IS:8009 (Pt.I), clause 10.2, Appendix D. 2. While computing pressure increment below abutments, due care will be taken to include the pressure increment due to earth fill behind abutment also with the help of appropriate monograms (IS:8009-Pt.I, clause 8.3, Appendix B). Calculation of lateral earth pressure for soils with cohesion It is seen that in many case of back fill of soil having c and , only is considered and active earth pressure coefficient for Rankines formula is calculated accordingly. This is totally incorrect. In such cases, the earth pressure may be calculated using Bells equation obtained from Mohrs failure stress circle. Principal shear stresses 1 and 2 will be:

1 = 2 tan 2 (45 + /2) + 2c tan (45 + /2) 3 = 1 tan 2 (45 + /2) + 2c tan (45 + /2)
Using Coulumbs and Rankines k factors to calculate Earth pressures at depth Z. Pa = r z ka 2 ck where Z = 2c ka


Resultant R and its location y can be calculated by either neglecting tension zone or altering pressure diagram for overall depth of soil. (i) R = Pa(H-Z)/2 at y = (H-Z)/3 above base Or (ii) R = PaH/2 at y = H/3 above base.
1 - sin 1 + sin

Where ka = coefficient of active earth pressure for Rankine = R C = = = Angle of shearing resistance in degrees. Density of soil

Cohesion of soil generally obtained from unconfined

comprehensive test. By neglecting tension crack (Z), the lateral pressure obtained is generally higher and is considered more conservative.


References: 1. 2. 3. R.R. Jaruhar, Member Engineering- Technical Instruction No. 1 & 2 on Key Design Parameters for Rail Bridges dated 06.06.2005. Vijay Singh, BE (Civil), IRSE, Chief Engineer, India Railway Wells and Caissons, Nem Chand & Bros, Roorkee (U.P.), 1981. L. Singh, Chief Engineer, North Central Railway, Allahabad- Salient Design feature of Jogighopa Bridge, National Seminar on Bridge Engineering in North East, Maligaon, Guwahati, 29th- 31st Oct., 1998. 4. H.K.L. Sethi, CE, M.I.E., IRSE (Retd.), Ganga Bridge at Mokameh, Research Designs and Standards Organisation, Ministry of Railway, Lucknow. 5. IRC:78-2000, Standard specifications and Code of practice for road bridges. Section-VII, Foundation and Substructure (Second Revision), The India Road Congress, Jamnagar House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi- 110 011. 6. IS-456:2000- Plain and Reinforces Concrete Code of Practice (Fourth Revision) Bureau of Indian Standards, Manak Bhawan, 9 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi- 110 002. 7. Concrete Bridge Code- IRS Code of Practice Plain, Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete for General Bridge Construction, RDSO, Lucknow226 011. 8. 9. 10. IRS Code of Practice for the design of Sub-structures and Foundations of Bridges, RDSO, Lucknow- 226011. Technical paper No. 335, River training and control for bridges. Manual on the design and construction of well and pile foundation (1985), RDSO, Lucknow. -------