Research Pays Off: Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls on the Interstate Highway System: Thirty Years of Experience

Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) is a construction technique that alternates layers of compacted soil and reinforcing elements to build retaining walls and embankments. The introduction of MSE walls more than 30 years ago has changed the design and construction of highways. The accomplishments of MSE-related research are well documented. Ongoing research activities include the MSE Wall Pooled Fund Study and its extension, which is addressing the design of MSE walls using marginal backfill soils; and NCHRP Project 24-22, Selecting Backfill Materials for MSE Retaining Walls, which also is addressing the use of marginal backfill soils. The current estimated annual cost savings from the construction of MSE walls instead of cantilever cast-in-place (CIP) walls on the Interstate system is $180 million. MSE walls have greater flexibility and can tolerate significantly more total and differential settlement than can CIP concrete walls, offering viability to some design schemes that otherwise could not be possible.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 32-33
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 249
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01049440
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 18 2007 11:29AM