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Geosynthetic Reinforced Segmental Retaining Wall Structures in North America

The Paper reviews recent research on the analysis, design and construction of
geosynthetic reinforced soil retaining walls that use dry-stacked modular concrete units as the facing system (geosynthetic reinforced segmental retaining walls). These systems have gained wide popularity in North America for reasons of performance, aesthetics, cost and expediency of construction. However, the discrete nature of these modular block systems requires that special attention be paid to the design and construction of the facing elements. Some consequences of the extension of limit-equilibrium (pseudo-static) methods to the stability of segmental retaining wall structures are reviewed. Design methodologies, construction and specification recommendations described in this paper for routine structures have been recently adopted by the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA).