Failure of an 8-Meter-High Segmental Block Wall in the Northeast United States

The failure, investigation, and remediation of two sections of a geogrid reinforced segmental concrete block retaining wall are described in this chapter. The wall was completed in August of 1977 and was followed by heavy precipitation in the following fall, winter and spring. The first failure occurred without any warning about 5 months after construction and the second failure occurred at a different location in the wall about 5 months after the first failure was repaired. The second failure was progressive and exhibited large deformations for several weeks before the collapse occurred. The chapter also describes how there was a geotechnical engineering study conducted at the site prior to the design of the wall and full time observation and field density testing were performed during fill placement and compaction as the wall was being constructed. Field investigations were conducted during the demolition of the first failed section, and a drilling program was used to evaluate the remaining areas of the wall. Standard penetration tests (SPS), in-situ density tests, soil laboratory testing, and a review of construction observation and testing records were performed in an attempt to determine the cause of the failure. No clear single reason for the wall failure was identified during the work and it is believed that the failure occurred as a result of several problems during construction that compounded to cause the failures.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Marcel Dekker, Incorporated

    270 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10016
  • Authors:
    • Reith, C M
    • Paxson, G S
    • Cadden, Allen W
  • Publication Date: 2003


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 113-122
  • Monograph Title: Reinforced Soil Engineering. Advances in Research and Practice

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01041725
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0824742540
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 17 2007 1:35PM