The elastostatic plane problem of an infinite elastic layer with a crack parallel to its surfaces loaded by a transverse pair of compressive concentrated forces P and a pair of uniform compressive stress p(0) along the crack surface is considered. It is assumed that the effect of gravity force is neglected. The value of initial load factor Q(c) for the initial closure of the crack face is investigated and the closure length a extended while the load factor Q increases. The partial closure problem is solved assuming that the stress-intensity factor vanishes at the end point of the closure portion. The problem is formulated in terms of a singular integral equation for the derivative of the crack surface displacement. Numerical results for the stress-intensity factor, the closure (contact) length and the load factor are given for various dimensionless quantities. (C) 2003 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.