Location

Arlington, Virginia

Session Start Date

8-11-2008

Session End Date

8-16-2008

Abstract

Approximately 18 months after construction, an 11-m high rock faced Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil (GRS) wall was found to suffer from subsidence of about 100 mm on the crest, along with rocks being dislodged from the wall face from time to time. In the ensuing three months after these signs of problems were first detected, the subsidence on the crest of the wall increased to about 250 mm with significant lateral bulging on the wall face. The wall comprised two sides. The problems occurred primarily on one side of the wall; while the other side showed little distress. The entire wall eventually had to be demolished and reconstructed. Prior to reconstruction, a forensic program was undertaken and analyses were performed to examine the causes of failure. This paper describes the geometry and properties of the wall, the events leading to failure of the wall, and the post-failure analysis. It was concluded that the failure likely stemmed from two causes: (1) poor compaction of the fill in harsh winter weather during which the wall was constructed, and (2) wetting of the fill on the side of wall where failure occurred, caused by discharge of water through an abandoned pipe behind the reinforced fill. The wall was reconstructed with well-compacted granular fills with drainage units installed behind the reinforced fill. The reconstructed wall has since performed satisfactorily.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Sixth Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

8-11-2008

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2008 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

Share

 
COinS
 
Aug 11th, 12:00 AM Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Investigating Failure of a Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Wall in Black Hawk, Colorado

Arlington, Virginia

Approximately 18 months after construction, an 11-m high rock faced Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil (GRS) wall was found to suffer from subsidence of about 100 mm on the crest, along with rocks being dislodged from the wall face from time to time. In the ensuing three months after these signs of problems were first detected, the subsidence on the crest of the wall increased to about 250 mm with significant lateral bulging on the wall face. The wall comprised two sides. The problems occurred primarily on one side of the wall; while the other side showed little distress. The entire wall eventually had to be demolished and reconstructed. Prior to reconstruction, a forensic program was undertaken and analyses were performed to examine the causes of failure. This paper describes the geometry and properties of the wall, the events leading to failure of the wall, and the post-failure analysis. It was concluded that the failure likely stemmed from two causes: (1) poor compaction of the fill in harsh winter weather during which the wall was constructed, and (2) wetting of the fill on the side of wall where failure occurred, caused by discharge of water through an abandoned pipe behind the reinforced fill. The wall was reconstructed with well-compacted granular fills with drainage units installed behind the reinforced fill. The reconstructed wall has since performed satisfactorily.