Look Out Below - Potential Pitfalls and Suggested Improvements in Design and Construction of Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls

November 29, 2012
Publication: Forensic Engineering 2012: Gateway to a Safer Tomorrow - Proceedings of the Sixth Congress on Forensic Engineering, Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2012, ASCE, p 641-650

Abstract: Many challenges confront owners, engineers, and contractors that elect to construct mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls today. Owners select sites with difficult topography and less-than-ideal soils. Water-bearing utilities, natural water sources, or irrigated landscaped areas are located in close proximity to walls. A variety of MSE wall facings and reinforcing products are available, with different materials, geometry, connections, strengths, and behavior. Based on lessons learned from various failure investigations, the authors discuss frequent contributors to failures and common pitfalls in design and construction of MSE walls. With this knowledge, owners, designers, and investigators can more effectively focus their resources during design, investigation, and repair. Going forward, the authors suggest improvements to enhance design and construction practices of MSE walls.