This wall failed in Austin, TX, in 2013.

Every retaining wall is just a large mass that isn’t supposed to slide or tip over.  The blocks at the front are just “erosion control”.  Clever retaining wall contractors understand this.

Normally, the geogrid-to-block is tested so that there is a known strength value.

In this wall, the geogrids were simply just mortared into the stones at the face.

Obviously, there was no long-term strength for this system installed by the retaining wall contractor.  What most likely happened here is that the soil backfill put too much load on the stone wall face.  Next, the face slightly deformed and cracked, and then the geogrids (which were mortared into the wall) simply were no longer connected to the wall face.      Don’t let this happen to you!

(State PE Registration Map)

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