Project Launched – Guidelines for Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) has launched a project to develop national guidelines for mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls. 

There is currently no code authority in Canada which determines who is responsible for MSE structural and geotechnical design, material considerations, inspection during construction, asset management and repairs. Owners rely heavily on international resources to assist in guiding them to an end product and beyond.

Advanced by the Structures, and the Soils and Materials standing committees, the objective of this project will be to collaborate with owners, designers and industry partners to develop steps to choose backfill materials, and establish requirements for geotechnical investigation and design, structural design, construction inspection, overall asset management and in-service repair procedures. Lines of responsibility for fabrication, installation, geotechnical and drainage considerations, long-term performance targets and life cycle costs will also need to be identified. 

Key tasks in this project will include:

  • Conducting a literature review of existing codes, design manuals, guides and best practices
  • Conducting surveys of MSE wall owners to determine pertinent issues
  • Developing a synthesis of best and worst practices with relevant illustrations
  • Obtaining industry representatives’ perspectives related to owner and design issues

The project steering committee will be finalizing its request for proposals and selecting the project consultant in the near future.

Project funding partners include Alberta Transportation, British Columbia Transportation and Infrastructure, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation, New Brunswick Transportation and Infrastructure, Newfoundland and Labrador Transportation and Works, Prince Edward Island Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, le ministère des Transports du Québec, Saskatchewan Highways and Infrastructure and the cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.




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