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Design, Construction, and Inspection for Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls

Ce webinaire a été offert en anglais.

16 août 2018

This webinar provided an overview of best practices for the selection, design, construction, and inspection of mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls with a focus on public works projects. It also highlighted key features of the division of responsibilities and design considerations to compliment and preserve those divisions.

MSE walls are a mature earth retention technology. With a growing number of these structures in Canada over the past few decades, concerns may arise over ultimate responsibility for wall design, quality assurance, asset management and repairs, and post-construction in-service monitoring, particularly for significant construction or performance issues.

The webinar is based on contents from TAC’s Design, Construction, Maintenance and Inspection Guide for Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls.


  • Introduction
  • Overview of MSE wall components
  • Roles and responsibilities pertaining to design, construction and inspection of MSE walls
  • Typical applications
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Quality assessment/quality control of MSE walls
  • Questions and answers

Learning Objectives

  • Understand MSE wall components and typical applications
  • Understand considerations for selecting soil reinforcement
  • Identify participating stakeholder roles and divisions of responsibility for select roles
  • Identify three common applications for public works projects
  • Understand, conceptually, how site conditions, application, design choices, construction and other considerations can affect performance

Target Audience

Stakeholders involved in MSE walls delivery or projects that include MSE walls:

  • Public infrastructure owners
  • Coordinating professionals
  • Engineers designing infrastructure elements that could affect or be affected by MSE walls
  • MSE wall designers, suppliers and constructors


Andrew Van Dyk, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, WSP

Andrew has over 15 years of consulting experience and is a graduate of the Civil Engineering program at Western University. He has been providing geotechnical engineering services on a wide range of urban development and infrastructure projects from British Columbia to Ontario, including multi-phase residential developments, provincial transportation infrastructure, emergency response works, and geohazard assessments. Andrew’s geotechnical expertise includes site characterization; analysis and design of foundations; retaining walls and slopes, as well as assessments of geohazards and slope stability.

Dr. Michael Maher, Ph.D., P.Eng., Principal and Senior Materials and

Geotechnical Engineer, Golder Associates Ltd.
With 38 years of consulting and design experience in Canada and internationally, Michael is the regional leader of Golder’s large public infrastructure initiative. He provides engineering services related to highway pavement evaluation and rehabilitation design; construction quality control and quality assurance; highway structure condition surveys; infrastructure asset management; sustainability in engineering design; and construction materials performance and premature failures. Michael has acted as a forensic engineering investigator and expert witness in numerous legal cases related to geotechnical engineering, construction quality, and aggregate and concrete technology. He has published over 70 technical papers on construction materials and performance, pavement management and rehabilitation and the application of sustainability to optimum road rehabilitation strategies. Michael has been lead investigator for research studies funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and the Central Federal Lands Highway Division of the U.S. Federal Highways Administration. He also was Past President of the Canadian Council of Independent Laboratories.

The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or suitability of any information presented in the webinars and related materials (such as handouts, presentation documents and recordings); all such content is provided to TAC’s members and webinar registrants on an ‘as is’ basis. TAC is not liable for any information provided by instructors and presenters of these webinars. TAC hereby disclaims all liability for any claims, losses, or damages in connection with use or application of these materials. TAC does not guarantee, warrant, or endorse the products or services of any firm, organization, or person. The information contained in these webinars and related materials is not intended to constitute legal advice or the rendering of legal, consulting, or other professional services of any kind. Users of these materials should not in any manner rely upon or construe the information or resource materials in these materials as legal, or other professional advice and should not act or fail to act based upon the information in these materials without seeking the services of a competent legal or other professional.