MSE walls
14 Jul 2014

MSE walls installed to support road structures

Residents and road users may have noticed the use of large wall panels across the scope of the project in recent times.

The future interchange at Tonkin Highway / Horrie Miller Drive / Kewdale Road is an example of a location where the panels have been extensively placed over the last few weeks.

The walls are known in the construction industry as mechanically stabilised earth (MSE) walls. These consist of soil reinforcement and concrete facing to retain earth and support overlying structures such as interchange ramps and other road features.

Earth and soil is compacted behind the panel onto a series of galvanised straps which are bolted into the panel. These straps typically stretch back the same length as the height of the wall panel.         

Construction Manager Keith McLean said the wall panels are commonly used for road structures as they are easy and quick to install, allowing the project team to proceed with further work.

“Some time is spent preparing the panel and propping it but once it’s in place it allows the compacting of soil behind it to begin straight away,” Mr McLean explained.

Another benefit is that the use of MSE walls is also a cost effective method, he said.

Once the wall panel is set in place, the visible props supporting it at the front are removed. A total of 30,000 square metres of MSE walls will be installed, covering five kilometres.

The highest wall panels to be used on the Gateway WA Project will measure 11 metres.

   MSE walls aerial view

MSE walls at the future interchange at Tonkin Highway / Horrie Miller Drive / Kewdale Road - June 2014