What Is a Tieback in Construction?

February 10, 2024

The iconic bridges, massive dams and towering buildings you see in your daily life are supported by a complex web of support systems, including tiebacks. Whether it’s to reinforce seawalls, stabilize slopes or support excavations, tiebacks are a vital component of construction projects and help ensure safe and successful project completion.

What is a Tieback?

A tieback is a steel bar or strand bundle that’s installed into the ground to provide lateral resistance for retaining walls and other structures. They are often encased in grout or a sheath to improve performance and protect them from corrosion, making them an efficient solution for a variety of applications.

When used in conjunction with a retaining wall, tiebacks can prevent lateral movement and soil failure by connecting the structure to the surrounding soil. They also transfer the tensile forces created by soil pressure or external loads back into the ground, which improves stability and helps prevent excessive deformation or movement of the structure.

Installation Process

When constructing with tiebacks, it’s important to consider the construction sequence and soil conditions to minimize potential ground movements or instability during construction. Holes or trenches will need to be drilled or excavated, which can be done using specialized equipment and tools depending on the site conditions and design requirements. Once the holes or trenches are prepared, the tendon, which is typically made of high-strength steel, is inserted and anchored at one end to the wall and connected to a stable structure at the other end (for example, a concrete deadman). The tieback-deadman system resists the forces that would otherwise cause the retaining wall to lean.


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