The photo of this failed SPL wall is pretty remarkable. It was discussed in a thread I came accross on EngTips.com. The originator of the thread (kleo) says he was involved from the contractor side on this project in a mountainous rainforest region near Cuba. He also says the wall was designed by “FHWA”, don’t know if that means US FHWA or what. But if so, I have no idea where this project would be located. The wall was designed for a 15-ft high cantilever with around 20-ft embedded with the last 7-ft being into bedrock. Check out the thread to kick in your hypothesis for kleo.
According to Silicon Valley’s MercuryNews.com, a [very lucky] worker suffered minor injuries when the crane he was opperating toppled down an embankment. The accident apparently occured on a CALTRANS project as the crane was lifting a 10,000-lb pile when a "wood retaining wall" gave way. It sounds like they were constructing a soldier pile lagging wall with steel h-pile soldiers and wood lagging. (Photo by Donna Jones/Sentinel)
[Disclosure] NCS Consultants is the employer (day job) of Randy Post, the owner of this site. [/Disclosure]
Geotechnical engineers who encounter MSE retaining walls or Mechanically Stabilzed Earth Walls are undoubtedly familiar with the FHWA NHI manual on “Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls and Reinforced Soil Slopes”. This manual, along with the NCMA manual that is used for non-transportation projects, is virtually the bible for MSE wall design. In late summer/early fall of 2009, a revised version of this manual will hit the streets. Read on for more details.
[Update Jan 28, 2008] It appears as if the Port of Seattle is in some hot water for some alleged shady dealings with one of the contractors on the project. More at Seattle Times. [/Update]
Erosion Control magazine has an interesting article on MSE Walls. I think the tie-in of MSE Walls with erosion control is a little questionable (they did mention wall drainage a few times), but the article highlights several interesting projects, particularly the Seattle-Tacoma Airport or Sea-Tac Third Runway Project retaining walls. The West wall for that project is the tallest MSE Wall in North America, 130-ft at its highest point. More after the break. (Photo by Sea-Tac Airport)