Secant Piles Walls

Schnabel, a reputable nationwide design-build company, stands at the forefront of constructing reliable and structurally sound secant pile walls. These walls not only provide effective excavation support but also act as formidable groundwater barriers for various construction projects. Secant pile walls, characterized by very stiff and overlapping shafts, seamlessly form a continuous concrete wall that ensures structural integrity and stability.

By utilizing specialty drills, our skilled team maintains critical alignment, a vital aspect for the secant pile wall to deliver its intended effectiveness. With shafts typically ranging from 2 to 4 feet in diameter, Schnabel’s secant pile walls offer exceptional performance. It’s worth noting that tangent piles, similar to secant piles, feature shafts that touch but do not overlap.

With decades of experience in providing tailored earth- and water-retention solutions, Schnabel’s expertise in constructing secant walls enables clients to conquer even their most complex construction challenges.


At the core of Schnabel’s rigid and robust system for earth retention and groundwater cut-off lie the impressive secant pile walls. These walls are meticulously constructed by drilling a series of alternating primary (drilled first) and secondary (drilled second) overlapping shafts, ultimately forming a continuous secant wall.

The versatility of our approach is showcased through the choice of concrete strength within the shafts, which can consist of all low-strength, all high-strength, or a combination of both primary and secondary shafts. Moreover, steel piles or reinforcing steel are strategically placed in the secondary shafts, enhancing the structural integrity of the secant pile walls.

In scenarios where self-supporting circular rings are required, unreinforced high-strength shafts, often utilized for access shafts to tunnels, serve as a reliable solution. The impermeable nature of secant pile walls makes them highly effective in controlling the flow of groundwater into an excavation while limiting drawdown outside the excavation zone. Additionally, their exceptional stiffness positions them as a preferred choice when sensitive structures are located behind the wall, ensuring optimal protection.

A noteworthy advantage of employing secant piles for cutoff wall construction is Schnabel’s high torque drill rigs, renowned for their ability to penetrate hard-drilling conditions while simultaneously casing the drill hole. These cutting-edge drills are capable of advancing cased holes through various obstructions, be it man-made or natural, including cobbles, boulders, and reinforced concrete. Trust Schnabel’s expertise and extensive experience in delivering unmatched secant pile walls, enabling you to tackle diverse construction challenges with utmost confidence.

In the realm of cutoff wall construction, secant piles emerge as a highly economical method, particularly when challenging drilling conditions are anticipated. Not only do they provide a cost-effective solution, but they also offer the advantage of relatively low mobilization costs in comparison to other cutoff wall types such as slurry walls and soil mix walls.

Schnabel, with its profound knowledge and expertise in the field, understands the importance of finding the right solution for your project. Therefore, we invite you to reach out to one of our eight regional offices today to explore whether secant walls align with your construction goals.

Discover the numerous benefits of utilizing secant pile walls, ranging from their exceptional performance in demanding drilling conditions to their budget-friendly nature. Our team is dedicated to providing tailored solutions that cater to your specific requirements, ensuring successful project outcomes.

Pioneering Innovative Solutions & Revolutionizing Approaches for Timeless Challenges.

secant pile contractors

Rondout West Branch Bypass Tunnel Shaft

Schnabel installed secant piles in a self-supporting circular ring to support the construction of a new bypass tunnel to allow water to flow under the Hudson River to New York City after an older tunnel started to leak.

secant piles

Barnes-Jewish Hospital

Schnabel designed and constructed a secant pile wall for the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Parkview Tower on the Washington University Medical Campus in St. Louis, Missouri. The perimeter secant wall served as both the permanent structural basement wall and the temporary earth-retention system for the new hospital building.

In 31 years of building deep foundation projects for Schnabel, building a 90’ deep reinforced circular shaft was one that was very challenging and deeply rewarding. Looking forward to working on the next one with our client Schiavone.
Paul Davis, Rondout West Branch Bypass Tunnel Shaft


Schnabel is the sector’s most operationally efficient Geostructural Design & Construction contractor. We optimize efficiencies by leveraging decades of experience and design/build expertise to innovate processes and approaches that are consistently proven to deliver optimal outcomes for our clients.