Use of NDE to Detect MSE Wall Reinforcement in Highway Bridge Embankments

When future roadway widening is anticipated and properly planned, mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls can be constructed wider in cross-section to accommodate future lanes of traffic. This paper provides case studies where NDE was utilized to evaluate existing MSE wall reinforcement where documentation of the original wall construction was not available. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) was utilized as the primary means of detecting soil reinforcement which attaches to the wall facing panels. The varying levels of success in detecting soil reinforcement are discussed along with the effect of embankment constituents on the results. Exploratory test pits are also discussed in their role to validate the NDE results.

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