I had a question about determining Pile Capacity. I'm using the Nordlund Method for Driven Piles to determine the skin and tip resistance. In most cases when designing a bridge Abutment, as a conservative approach I usually take the bottom of footing as the top of the ground (usually the ground elevation in front of the abutment is only a few feet above the top of footing). Therefore the Total and Effective Stress start at 0. However, in this case I am designing driven piles for a buried structure. The structure is a culvert type in which the proposed bottom of footing will be 10 feet below the existing ground line and 20 feet below the proposed ground line. When determining the Total and Effective Stress (for skin and tip resistance), would I take the stress starting from the proposed ground line, existing ground line, or from the bottom of footing?
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