The Heavy Duty Geogrid Wall

by Barry R. Christopher, (M.ASCE), Principal; STS Consultants, Northbrook, IL,
Sarah B. Steinberg, (M.ASCE), Manager Business Planning; STS Consultants, Northbrook, IL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 5, Pg. 75-77

Document Type: Feature article


The geogrid reinforced soil retaining wall was a key component in reconstructing a small hydroelectric plant situated at the center of Cascade Dam in Michigan. It was necessary that the road along the crest support a heavy crane as it brought in a new generator. The crest was widened and strengthened by building the reinforced soil wall on the side slope of the embankment. The geosynthetic reinforcement would provide a flexible face and allow for lateral displacement under temporary, very high surcharge loading. The wall was constructed in 1 ft layers, with the geogrid placed at each lift, backed by a slit film woven geotextile. Each lift was compacted with hand operated equipment. An extensive instrumentation program indicates that the wall performed well within anticipated limits. After nine months, the geogrid showed no apparent strength loss from construction damage, weather exposure or aging.

Subject Headings: Soil stabilization | Soil strength | Geogrids | Walls | Geosynthetics | Retaining structures | Hydro power | High-rise buildings | Michigan | United States

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