Temporary Lagging Walls


Soldier piles and lagging walls are often temporary installations used to retain soil in an excavation site. Temporary lagging walls are differentiated from permanent systems by the length of time in use. For Washington state, temporary lagging walls can be in use for up to 36 months, after which need to be removed or converted into permanent lagging walls. Temporary lagging walls and soldier piles are easy and quick to install and utilize lower-cost materials, as they do not need to withstand long-term stresses from loads and corrosive soil conditions. Temporary systems aren’t well-suited for long-term use because retained earth can shift, which can cause stress exceeding the load capacity over time. In addition, corrosion from water can degrade the system’s integrity. Short-term construction projects don’t need to worry about these long-term effects, making them excellent low-cost options for retaining earth while installing a deep foundation.


Temporary systems do not need to be resistant to long-term environmental stresses, so the lagging walls are typically made from pressure-treated wood. To increase the load capacity of the lagging walls, tiebacks embedded in the soil can increase strength. Like their permanent system counterpart, the soldier piles connecting lagging walls are typically made from steel driven H-piles which can be removed once construction is complete.


For installing temporary lagging walls, the steel H-piles are driven into the ground. Between those soldier piles, timber sheeting is inserted horizontally, slowly building a wall as excavation proceeds. Once excavation is complete, the sheeting is removed and the soldier piles are pulled out of the ground. Alternately, if deemed necessary the temporary lagging wall can be converted into a permanent lagging wall. For more information about converting temporary lagging walls into permanent systems, check out the Permanent Lagging Walls page.

Contact Pearson Drilling today to learn more about how temporary lagging walls and soldier piles could suit your constructions needs!