Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls & Reinforced Soil Slopes

Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls & Reinforced Soil Slopes

Make safer, smarter decisions for wall and slope construction projects

In highway, commercial, and residential construction projects with mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls and reinforced soil slopes (RSS), complex evaluations and analyses are required to ensure safety and adequate performance. Exponent has extensive experience evaluating the performance of MSE walls and RSS with various types of reinforcement, including metallic reinforcement (e.g., welded wire mesh, steel strip, and bar mat) and various types of polymeric reinforcement (e.g., polyester or polyethylene geotextiles, geogrids, and geosynthetic strips).

Expert MSE wall and RSS construction consulting

In addition to evaluating the stability of existing MSE walls and RSS, Exponent has developed repair recommendations; monitored MSE walls prior to, during, and after implementation of repairs; observed and documented MSE wall demolitions; conducted field evaluations of seismic performance; and directed material testing of various reinforcement and facing elements.

With backgrounds in geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, structural engineering, material and polymer science, mechanical engineering, and construction management, Exponent's experts are uniquely qualified to address any challenges associated with MSE walls and RSS, as well as to assist in the resolution of related construction claims and disputes.

There are several types of facing elements for MSE walls, including segmental retaining walls, segmental concrete panels, modular block units, welded wire mesh, gabion, and geosynthetic facing. Already by 2009, the Federal Highway Administration had estimated that MSE walls with precast facing made up more than half of all retaining wall constructed every year for transportation applications in the United States. This percentage of MSE walls in transportation applications has likely increased since that study. Exponent has decades of experience with evaluation of all these facing elements and reinforcement types and performed multidisciplinary investigations and analyses of various MSE wall types and RSS domestically and internationally. 

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