Location

Chicago, Illinois

Session Start Date

4-29-2013

Session End Date

5-4-2013

Abstract

A 225-ft long, 11-ft high MSE retaining wall was constructed in fall 2008 around the lowest corner of a parking lot at a community college. The wall provided grade separation between the higher parking lot and the green areas below. No geotechnical exploration was performed for the wall, although one had been performed for building additions elsewhere on campus, and density testing was performed periodically during MSE wall construction. The following spring, pavement had subsided up to a foot near two catch basins located several feet behind the retaining wall facing. Cracks in the pavement opened adjacent to the catch basins, allowing water to infiltrate into the wall backfill and thereby circumventing the planned drainage from the parking lot surface into the catch basins. In that area, the retaining wall facing blocks had also settled by several inches. At that point in time, geotechnical consultation was sought, and a subsurface exploration program was performed. The case history discusses the results of the subsurface exploration program, the probable causes of the wall distress and what went wrong, recommendations made for remediation of the wall, observations of a partial deconstruction of approximately half the wall, and reconstruction of the wall.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Seventh Conference

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

4-29-2013

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2013 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 29th, 12:00 AM May 4th, 12:00 AM

Exploration, Deconstruction, and Repair of a Distressed MSE Retaining Wall in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Chicago, Illinois

A 225-ft long, 11-ft high MSE retaining wall was constructed in fall 2008 around the lowest corner of a parking lot at a community college. The wall provided grade separation between the higher parking lot and the green areas below. No geotechnical exploration was performed for the wall, although one had been performed for building additions elsewhere on campus, and density testing was performed periodically during MSE wall construction. The following spring, pavement had subsided up to a foot near two catch basins located several feet behind the retaining wall facing. Cracks in the pavement opened adjacent to the catch basins, allowing water to infiltrate into the wall backfill and thereby circumventing the planned drainage from the parking lot surface into the catch basins. In that area, the retaining wall facing blocks had also settled by several inches. At that point in time, geotechnical consultation was sought, and a subsurface exploration program was performed. The case history discusses the results of the subsurface exploration program, the probable causes of the wall distress and what went wrong, recommendations made for remediation of the wall, observations of a partial deconstruction of approximately half the wall, and reconstruction of the wall.