Structure and Bridge Division

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Walls Associated with Bridges

The Structure & Bridge Division Manual of the Structure & Bridge, Volume V – Part 11, Geotechnical Manual for Structures, Chapter 10 provides requirements for earth retaining structures. Guidance is provided on Earth Retaining System Classification, concrete gravity walls, crib walls, Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls (segmental precast facing and prefabricated modular block), sheet-pile walls, soldier pile and lagging walls, anchored walls and soil-nailed walls. Included is a list of Approved Retaining Wall Systems, MSE Wall Shop Drawing Review Checklist, and MSE Wall Construction Inspection Checklist. See the following link:

Report No. FHWA-NHI 14-007. Dated February 2015. Geotechnical Engineering Circular No. 7, Soil Nail Walls – Reference Manual. The manual provides state-of-the-practice information for selecting, designing, and constructing soil nail walls. Chapter 9 covers construction inspection of the different construction activities and performance monitoring.  (pdf, 16.5 mb)

Report No. FHWA-SA-93-068. Dated April 1994. Soil Nailing Field Inspectors Manual. Report has been archived, but is still a good reference. Provides field inspectors information to effectively monitor and document the construction of soil nail retaining walls. Checklists are provided for inspectors to use during construction.  (.pdf, 19.9 mb)

Report No. FHWA NHI 10-024_FHWA GEC 011-Volumes I and 2, Design and Construction of Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls and Reinforced Soil Slopes - Volume I and II. The manuals reflect current practice for the design, construction and monitoring of these structures. The manuals are the reference text used for the FHWA NHI Courses No. 132042 and 132043 on Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls and Reinforced Soil Slopes. The manuals were prepared to enable the engineer to identify and evaluate potential applications of MSE walls and RSS as an alternative to other construction methods and as a means to solve construction problems. The scope is sufficiently broad to be of value for specifications specialists, construction and contracting personnel responsible for construction inspection, development of material specifications and contracting methods. With the aid of this text, the engineer should be able to properly select, design, specify, monitor and contract for the construction of MSE walls and RSS embankments. The MSE wall design within this manual is based upon Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) procedures. This manual is a revision (to LRFD) and an update to the FHWA NHI-00-043 Manual (which was based upon allowable stress design (ASD) procedures).
Volume 1 covers Chapters 1 through 7. Chapter 1 (Introduction), Chapter 2 (Systems and Project Evaluation), Chapter 3 (Soil Reinforcement Principles and System Design Properties), Chapter 4 (Design of MSE Walls), Chapter 5 (MSE Wall Design Details), Chapter 6 (Design of MSE Walls with Complex Geometrics), and Chapter 7 (Design of MSE Walls for Extreme Events).  (.pdf, 7.4 mb)

Volume II covers Chapters 8 through 11, References and Appendices. Chapter 8 (Reinforced (Steepened) Soil Slopes Project Evaluation), Chapter 9 (Design of Reinforced Soil Slopes), Chapter 10 (Contracting Methods and Specifications for MSE Walls and Slopes), and Chapter 11 (Field Inspection and Performance Monitoring).  (.pdf, 5.4mb)

CITBC Module 33. PP-Earth Retaining Systems – 2018

  • MSE Walls 
  • Soil Nailed Walls 
  • Reinforced Cantilever Walls

Page last modified: April 16, 2021