Segmental Retaining Wall at Dale Hollow Lake

Mattingly Engineers was hired by a private homeowner to evaluate the cause of a wall failure at his house overlooking Dale Hollow Lake. Our evaluation, consisting of test pit excavations and visual inspection, revealed the failure was a result of uncompacted clay backfill, lack of geogrid reinforcement and poor drainage behind the wall.

Two options for remedial action were presented to the owner: remove the old wall and rebuild in the same location or build a new wall farther down the slope and encapsulate the old wall. Although building farther down the slope was going to be challenging because of the steep terrain and limited access, the owner chose this option to reduce the cost of completely removing the old wall and to provide additional lawn area.

The new wall, built about 30 feet downslope from the old wall, was 375 feet long with a wall face of 6,000 square feet. The maximum wall height was 26 feet with geogrid lengths reaching 18 feet. The geogrid-reinforced backfill zone consisted of 4,000 tons of compacted No. 57 stone.

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