US20110170958A1 - Soil reinforcing connector and method of constructing a mechanically stabilized earth structure - Google Patents

Soil reinforcing connector and method of constructing a mechanically stabilized earth structure Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110170958A1
US20110170958A1 US12861632 US86163210A US20110170958A1 US 20110170958 A1 US20110170958 A1 US 20110170958A1 US 12861632 US12861632 US 12861632 US 86163210 A US86163210 A US 86163210A US 20110170958 A1 US20110170958 A1 US 20110170958A1
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Prior art keywords
facing
vertical
wire
element
wires
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Abandoned
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US12861632
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Thomas P. Taylor
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T and B Structural Systems LLC
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T and B Structural Systems LLC
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E02HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING; FOUNDATIONS; SOIL SHIFTING
    • E02DFOUNDATIONS; EXCAVATIONS; EMBANKMENTS; UNDERGROUND OR UNDERWATER STRUCTURES
    • E02D29/00Independent underground or underwater structures; Retaining walls
    • E02D29/02Retaining or protecting walls
    • E02D29/0225Retaining or protecting walls comprising retention means in the backfill
    • E02D29/0241Retaining or protecting walls comprising retention means in the backfill the retention means being reinforced earth elements

Abstract

A system and method of constructing a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) structure. A wire facing is composed of horizontal and vertical elements. A soil reinforcing element has a plurality of transverse wires coupled to at least two longitudinal wires having lead ends that upwardly-extend. A bearing plate includes one or more longitudinal protrusions configured to receive and seat the upwardly extending lead ends and couple the soil reinforcing element to the wire facing, and in particular to the vertical element. Multiple systems can be characterized as lifts and erected one atop the other to a desired MSE structure height.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    The present application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/684,479, entitled “Wave Anchor Soil Reinforcing Connector and Method,” which was filed on Jan. 8, 2010, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • [0002]
    Retaining wall structures that use horizontally positioned soil inclusions to reinforce an earth mass in combination with a facing element are referred to as Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) structures. MSE structures can be used for various applications including retaining walls, bridge abutments, dams, seawalls, and dikes.
  • [0003]
    The basic MSE technology is a repetitive process where layers of backfill and horizontally placed soil reinforcing elements are positioned one atop the other until a desired height of the earthen structure is achieved. Typically, grid-like steel mats or welded wire mesh are used as earthen reinforcement elements. In most applications, the reinforcing mats consist of parallel transversely extending wires welded to parallel longitudinally extending wires, thus forming a grid-like mat or structure. Backfill material and the soil reinforcing mats are combined and compacted in series to form a solid earthen structure, taking the form of a standing earthen wall.
  • [0004]
    In some instances, a substantially vertical wall, typically made of concrete or steel facing panels, may then be constructed a short distance from the standing earthen wall. The vertical wall not only serves as decorative architecture, but also prevents erosion at the face of the earthen wall. The soil reinforcing mats extending from the compacted backfill may then be attached directly to the back face of the vertical wall in a variety of configurations. To facilitate the connection to the earthen formation, the vertical wall will frequently include a plurality of “facing anchors” either cast into or attached somehow to the back face of the wall at predetermined and/or spaced-apart locations. Each facing anchor is typically positioned so as to correspond with and couple directly to the end of a soil reinforcing mat. Via this attachment, outward movement and shifting of the vertical wall is significantly reduced.
  • [0005]
    Although there are several methods of attaching soil reinforcing elements to facing structures, it nonetheless remains desirable to find improved anchors and anchor-designs offering less expensive alternatives and greater resistance to shear forces inherent in such structures.
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • [0006]
    Embodiments of the disclosure may provide a mechanically stabilized earth structure. The mechanically stabilized earth structure includes a wire facing having a bend formed therein to form a horizontal element and a vertical facing, the horizontal element having initial and terminal wires each coupled to a plurality of horizontal wires, and the vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires and a top-most cross wire. The mechanically stabilized earth structure also includes a soil reinforcing element having a plurality of transverse wires coupled to at least two longitudinal wires having upwardly-extending extensions, and a connection device having a bearing plate with one or more longitudinal protrusions configured to receive the upwardly-extending extensions, the connection device being configured to couple the soil reinforcing element to the vertical facing.
  • [0007]
    Other embodiments of the disclosure may provide a mechanically stabilized earth structure. The mechanically stabilized earth structure includes a first lift which includes a first wire facing having a first horizontal element and a first vertical facing, the first horizontal element having initial and terminal wires coupled to a plurality of horizontal wires, and the first vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires including a last facing cross wire and a top-most cross wire vertically-disposed above the last facing cross wire. The first life also includes a first soil reinforcing element having a plurality of transverse wires coupled to at least two longitudinal wires having upwardly-extending extensions, and a first connection device having a first bearing plate with one or more longitudinal protrusions configured to receive the upwardly-extending extensions of the first soil reinforcing element, the first connection device being configured to couple the soil reinforcing element to the first vertical facing. The first life also includes backfill disposed on the first wire facing to a first height above the last facing cross wire of the first vertical facing. The mechanically stabilized earth structure also includes a second lift disposed on the backfill of the first lift, the second lift, which includes a second wire facing having a second horizontal element and a second vertical facing, and a second soil reinforcing element disposed on the second horizontal element and having a plurality of transverse wires coupled to at least two longitudinal wires having upwardly-extending extensions. The second lift also includes a second connection device having a second bearing plate with one or more longitudinal protrusions configured to receive the upwardly-extending extensions of the second soil reinforcing element, the second connection device being configured to couple the second soil reinforcing element to the first and second vertical facings.
  • [0008]
    Other embodiments of the disclosure may also provide a method of constructing a mechanically stabilized earth structure. The method includes providing a first lift includes a first wire facing bent to form a first horizontal element and a first vertical facing, the first vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires including a last facing cross wire and a top-most cross wire vertically-disposed above the last facing cross wire. The method also includes placing a first quantity of backfill on the first lift to a first height above the first horizontal element, and coupling a first soil reinforcing element to the first vertical facing at the first height and on top of the first quantity of backfill. The method further includes placing a second quantity of backfill atop the first quantity of backfill and the first soil reinforcing element to a second height above the last facing cross wire of the first vertical facing, and disposing a second lift atop the first lift, the second lift includes a second wire facing bent to form a second horizontal element and a second vertical facing, the second vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires including a last facing cross wire and a top-most cross wire vertically-disposed above the last facing cross wire. The method also includes placing a third quantity of backfill on the second lift to a third height above the second horizontal element, and coupling a second soil reinforcing element to the second vertical facing at the third height and on top of the third quantity of backfill. The method further includes placing a fourth quantity of backfill atop the third quantity of backfill and the second soil reinforcing element to a fourth height above the last facing cross wire of the second vertical facing.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    The present disclosure is best understood from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying Figures. It is emphasized that, in accordance with the standard practice in the industry, various features are not drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions of the various features may be arbitrarily increased or reduced for clarity of discussion.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 1A is an isometric view of an exemplary facing anchor assembly, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1B is a side view of the assembly shown in FIG. 1A.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1C is an isometric view of the exemplary facing anchor assembly of FIG. 1 connected to a soil reinforcing element and facing, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2A is an isometric view of the exemplary facing anchor assembly of FIG. 1 with an exemplary connection apparatus, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 2B is an isometric view of the assembly of FIG. 2A, where the exemplary connection apparatus is engaged, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 3 is an isometric view of an exemplary facing anchor configuration, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 4A is a side view depicting an exemplary connection of the facing anchor assembly to a facing, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 5A is an isometric view of an exemplary facing anchor configuration, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 5B is a side view the exemplary facing anchor configuration depicted in FIG. 5A.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 6A is an isometric view of the exemplary facing anchor assembly of FIG. 1 with an exemplary connection apparatus, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 6B is a side view of the exemplary facing anchor assembly of FIG. 6A.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6C is an isometric view of the exemplary facing anchor assembly of FIG. 6A coupled to a facing, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 6D is an isometric view of the exemplary facing anchor assembly of FIG. 6A coupled to a facing, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 7A is a side view of an exemplary mechanically stabilized earth structure system, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 7B is an isometric view of an exemplary wire facing used in the system shown in FIG. 7A, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 8A is an isometric view of an exemplary connection device used to couple a soil reinforcing element to a wire facing, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 8B is a plan view of the connection device shown in FIG. 8A.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 8C is an exploded side view of the connection device shown in FIG. 8A and the system shown in FIG. 7A, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 8D is a side view of another exemplary mechanically stabilized earth structure system, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 8E is a side view of another exemplary mechanically stabilized earth structure system, according to one or more aspects of the present disclosure.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0030]
    It is to be understood that the following disclosure describes several exemplary embodiments for implementing different features, structures, or functions of the invention. Exemplary embodiments of components, arrangements, and configurations are described below to simplify the present disclosure; however, these exemplary embodiments are provided merely as examples and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Additionally, the present disclosure may repeat reference numerals and/or letters in the various exemplary embodiments and across the Figures provided herein. This repetition is for the purpose of simplicity and clarity and does not in itself dictate a relationship between the various exemplary embodiments and/or configurations discussed in the various Figures. Moreover, the formation of a first feature over or on a second feature in the description that follows may include embodiments in which the first and second features are formed in direct contact, and may also include embodiments in which additional features may be formed interposing the first and second features, such that the first and second features may not be in direct contact. Finally, the exemplary embodiments presented below may be combined in any combination of ways, i.e., any element from one exemplary embodiment may be used in any other exemplary embodiment, without departing from the scope of the disclosure.
  • [0031]
    Additionally, certain terms are used throughout the following description and claims to refer to particular components. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, various entities may refer to the same component by different names, and as such, the naming convention for the elements described herein is not intended to limit the scope of the invention, unless otherwise specifically defined herein. Further, the naming convention used herein is not intended to distinguish between components that differ in name but not function. Additionally, in the following discussion and in the claims, the terms “including” and “comprising” are used in an open-ended fashion, and thus should be interpreted to mean “including, but not limited to.” All numerical values in this disclosure may be exact or approximate values unless otherwise specifically stated. Accordingly, various embodiments of the disclosure may deviate from the numbers, values, and ranges disclosed herein without departing from the intended scope. Furthermore, as it is used in the claims or specification, the term “or” is intended to encompass both exclusive and inclusive cases, i.e., “A or B” is intended to be synonymous with “at least one of A and B,” unless otherwise expressly specified herein.
  • [0032]
    Referring to FIGS. 1A-1C, illustrated is an exemplary facing anchor assembly 100 according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure. In at least one embodiment, the facing anchor assembly 100 may include a pair of plates 102 that can be horizontally-disposed when in exemplary operation. Each plate 102 may be made of carbon steel, such as a low alloy steel, but may also be manufactured from other high-strength materials exhibiting similar strength characteristics, such as other metals, ceramics or high-strength plastics. Furthermore, each plate 102 may have a vertically-disposed tab 104 at one end and define a trough 105 at the other end. Interposed between the tab 104 and the trough 105 of each plate 102 may be at least two longitudinally-offset transverse protrusions 106. At least one coupling perforation 108 located between the transverse protrusions 106 can be defined in each plate 102. Moreover, at least one facing perforation 110 may be defined on each tab 104 and at least one plate perforation 112 may be defined between the tab 104 and the transverse protrusion 106 closest to the tab 104.
  • [0033]
    In one or more embodiments, the facing anchor assembly 100 may be configured to receive and secure a soil reinforcing element 114 (FIGS. 1B and 1C). An exemplary soil reinforcing element 114 may encompass a welded wire grid having at least two longitudinal wires 116 disposed substantially parallel to each other, and a series of transverse wires 118 welded or otherwise attached to the longitudinal wires 116 in a generally perpendicular fashion. In an exemplary embodiment, the spacing between each longitudinal wire 116 may be about 2 in. to about 4 in., while the spacing between each transverse wire 118 may be about 6 in. As can be appreciated, however, the particular spacing and configuration of the longitudinal wires 116 and transverse wires 118 may vary to accommodate an assortment of MSE applications without departing from the scope of the disclosure.
  • [0034]
    As illustrated in FIGS. 1B and 1C, a first transverse wire 118 a and a second transverse wire 118 b may be captured and seated within the longitudinally-offset transverse protrusions 106 of at least one plate 102. In other exemplary embodiments, the first and second transverse wires 118 a,b may be located on the underside or opposite side of the soil reinforcing element 114, thereby capturing and seating the transverse wires 118 a,b in the transverse protrusions 106 of the opposing plate 102. Moreover, yet other exemplary embodiments (not illustrated herein) may include soil reinforcing elements 114 with transverse wires 118 attached to both the top and the bottom portions of the longitudinal wires 116, thereby seating transverse wires 118 in all or at least one of each transverse protrusion 106 of each plate 102.
  • [0035]
    The coupling perforations 108 of each plate 102 may be used to secure one or more transverse wires 118 within the transverse protrusions 106, thereby generally securing the soil reinforcing element 114 to the plates 102. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 1B, a nut 120 and bolt 122 assembly, including washers 124 disposed on either side, may be used to tighten down on the soil reinforcing element 114. In exemplary operation, tightening the nut 120 and bolt 122 assembly may effectively prevent the removal of the first and second transverse wires 118 a,b from the transverse protrusions 106 of at least one plate 102. This may also serve to clamp or otherwise secure the longitudinal wires 116 between the two plates 102, thereby creating a frictional or biasing engagement therebetween.
  • [0036]
    As can be appreciated, securing the first and second transverse wires 118 a,b within the transverse protrusions 106 may equally distribute shear stresses along the length of the transverse wires 118 a,b, instead of focusing shear forces at a singular weld point. Moreover, clamping the longitudinal wires 116 between the plates 102 may distribute tensile forces between each longitudinal wire 116, instead of relying on a single wire during shifting of the MSE structure.
  • [0037]
    Referring to FIG. 1C, the exemplary facing anchor assembly 100 may be used to secure a facing 126 to an earthen formation 128. The earthen formation 128 may encompass an MSE structure having a plurality of soil reinforcing elements 114 extending horizontally into the earthen formation 128 to add tensile capacity thereto. The facing 126 may generally define an exposed face (not shown) and a back face 130. The exposed face may encompass a decorative architectural facing and the back face 130 may be located adjacent the earthen formation 128. In one or more embodiments, the facing 126 may consist of individual precast concrete panels or, alternatively, a plurality of interlocking precast concrete modules or wall members that are assembled into interlocking relationship. In another embodiment, the precast concrete panels may be replaced with a uniform, unbroken expanse of concrete or the like which may be poured on site.
  • [0038]
    In at least one embodiment, a portion of the facing anchor assembly 100, and more particularly the plates 102, may be cast directly into the facing 126 to secure the assembly 100 against removal. As illustrated, the tabs 104 of each plate 102 may be part of the portion cast into the facing 126 and may serve to provide rigidity and stability to the resulting connection. The plates 102 may be cast into the facing 126 so as to be vertically-offset from each other and define a gap adapted to accommodate the receipt of a soil reinforcing element 114. In operation, the gap defined between adjacent plates 102 may generally flex to allow entry of a soil reinforcing element 114.
  • [0039]
    In another exemplary embodiment, the plates 102 may not be cast into the facing 126, but may be bolted, or otherwise attached, directly to the back face 130. For example, holes may be drilled into the back face 130 of the concrete facing 126 to correspond to the facing perforations 110 defined on each tab 104. A bolt and washer assembly (not shown), or other connective means, may be used to secure the plates to the back face 130.
  • [0040]
    Referring now to FIGS. 2A and 2B, illustrated is another exemplary embodiment of securing a soil reinforcing element 114 to the facing anchor assembly 100. As illustrated, a connector pin 202, such as in the shape of a “U,” may be inserted into the respective troughs 105 defined on each plate 102, thereby holding the ends of the plates 102 together and securing the first and second transverse wires 118 a,b against removal from the transverse protrusions 106. As will be appreciated, describing the U-shaped pin as shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B is not meant to be limiting to the disclosure by any means, but instead any shape or type of pin or clasping mechanism may be used to hold the ends of the plates 102 together besides a U-shaped pin, without departing from the scope of the disclosure. In one or more embodiments, the connector pin 202 may be made of steel bar-stock or a bent length of rebar or molded from high strength plastics or other durable materials. Furthermore, each leg of the U-shaped connector pin 202 may include a small bead 204 (only one shown) disposed on the inside portion of the end of each leg. In one or more embodiments, the bead 204 may include a small globule of welded or other durable material and may be configured to prevent removal of the connector pin 202 once engaged with the troughs 105. Further, the U-shaped connector pin 202 may have at least one end that is cold-formed to create a knob (not shown) configured to prevent the removal of the connector pin 202 once engaged with the troughs 105. As can be appreciated, the nut 120 and bolt 122 assembly would not be required in this exemplary embodiment, thus reducing the number of loose parts needed to make a secure connection.
  • [0041]
    Referring now to FIG. 3, illustrated is another exemplary embodiment of a facing anchor assembly 300, according to one or more embodiments of the disclosure. In at least one embodiment, the facing anchor assembly 300 may include a pair of plates 302 that can be horizontally-disposed during operation. Similar to the facing anchor assembly 100 described above, each plate 302 may include a vertically-disposed tab 304 having at least one plate perforation 306 defined therein that may be used to directly couple to the back face 130 of a facing 126. Each plate 302 may also include a single, longitudinally-offset transverse protrusion 308 for receiving and seating a first transverse wire 118 a attached or otherwise coupled to the longitudinal wires 116 of a soil reinforcing element 114.
  • [0042]
    As illustrated, the transverse protrusion 308 of the top plate 302 may receive the first transverse wire 118 a, but in other exemplary applications the transverse wires 118 may be located on the underside of the soil reinforcing element 114, thus the first transverse wire 118 a may be captured and seated within the transverse protrusions 308 of the opposing bottom plate 302. Moreover, other applications (not specifically illustrated herein) may include soil reinforcing elements 114 with transverse wires 118 attached to both the top and the bottom of the longitudinal wires 116, thereby seating transverse wires 118 in the transverse protrusion 308 of each plate 302.
  • [0043]
    A coupling assembly 310 can be used to clamp the longitudinal wires 116 between the plates 302, thereby creating a frictional or biasing engagement configured to prevent the removal of the soil reinforcing element 114 from the facing anchor assembly 300. Clamping the longitudinal wires 116 between the plates 302 may also securely seat the first transverse wire 118 a within the transverse protrusion 308, thereby distributing shear stresses equally along the length of the transverse wire 118 a and further preventing the removal of the first transverse wire 118 a from the facing anchor assembly 300.
  • [0044]
    Referring now to FIGS. 4A and 4B, illustrated is an exemplary configuration of connecting at least two soil reinforcing elements 114 to a corresponding exemplary facing anchor assembly 100, as generally described herein. Specifically, FIG. 4A depicts a side view of a connection configuration including two soil reinforcing elements 114 vertically-offset from each other. FIG. 4B depicts a top view of a connection configuration including two soil reinforcing elements 114 horizontally-offset from each other. As can be appreciated, the offset distance between each soil reinforcing element connection may depend on the specific application or stress requirements of the overall MSE structure.
  • [0045]
    In the illustrated exemplary embodiment, the plates 102 of the facing anchor assembly 100 can be cast into the back face 130 of the facing 126, similar to the embodiment discussed above with reference to FIG. 1C. In other embodiments, the plates 102 may be bolted directly to the back face 130, as also discussed above. In at least one embodiment, the facing 126 may include a concrete panel or wall having reinforcing 402 cast therein to provide added reinforcement and tensile strength to the facing 126. The reinforcing 402 can include a plurality of transverse members 404 and a plurality of horizontal members 406, thereby forming a grid. Moreover, the reinforcing 402 may be cast into the facing 126 in front of the tabs 104 of the plates 102 to provide additional lateral strength for the anchor assembly 100 by adding supplementary resistance to being pulled out of the concrete.
  • [0046]
    Referring now to FIGS. 5A and 5B, illustrated is an exemplary embodiment of a swiveling facing anchor 500 that may provide a connection for a soil reinforcing element 114 that is capable of swiveling in a horizontal plane. Employing the exemplary swiveling facing anchor 500 may prove advantageous in areas where a vertical obstruction, such as a drainage pipe, catch basin, bridge pile, or bridge pier may be encountered in the MSE backfill field. To avoid such obstructions, the soil reinforcing element 114 may simply be swiveled out of range of the obstruction, yet maintain a secure connection.
  • [0047]
    As illustrated, the swiveling facing anchor 500 may generally include the facing anchor assembly 100, as described above, but may also include a swivel plate 502 and a retainer plate 508. The swivel plate 502 may have a first transverse protrusion 504 and a second transverse protrusion 506 for seating and securing first and second transverse wires 118 a,b. As can be appreciated, other embodiments may include a swivel plate 502 having more or less transverse protrusions 506 to fit a variety of applications. The retainer plate 508 may include a first elevation 507 at a first end bound in conjunction with the facing anchor assembly 100, and a second elevation 509 at a second end bound in conjunction with the swivel plate 502. In at least one embodiment, the retainer plate 508 may be configured to provide a binding surface where the longitudinal wires 116 of the soil reinforcing element 114 can be clamped into biasing engagement with swivel plate 502. In other exemplary embodiments, the retainer plate 508 may simply include the second elevation 509 to provide the binding or biasing engagement to the longitudinal wires 116, without departing from the scope of the disclosure.
  • [0048]
    The swiveling facing anchor may further include a first coupling assembly 510 and a second coupling assembly 518. The first coupling assembly 510 may be used to couple the facing anchor assembly 100 to both the swivel plate 502 and the retainer plate 508. In at least one embodiment, the first coupling assembly 510 may include a bolt 511 and nut 516 assembly having a washer disposed at each end, but may also include other means of mechanical coupling without departing from the scope of the disclosure. In an exemplary embodiment, the bolt 511 may be extended through the coupling perforation 108 defined in each plate 102 and also extended through separate concentric perforations 512,514 defined in both the swivel plate 502 and the retainer plate 508, respectively. The nut 516 may be tightened onto the bolt 511 to secure the swivel plate 502 and the retainer plate 508 from removal.
  • [0049]
    The second coupling assembly 518 may be substantially similar to the first coupling assembly 510 and may be used to couple the swivel plate 502 to the retainer plate 508, and also may serve to seat the first and second transverse wires 118 a,b within the first and second transverse protrusions 504,506, respectively. As described above, coupling the swivel plate 502 to the retainer plate 508 may also provide a binding engagement to the longitudinal wires 116 of the soil reinforcing element 114. A bolt 520 of the second coupling assembly 518 may be extended through a coupling perforation 522 defined in the swivel plate 502, and also extended through a retainer perforation 524 defined in the retainer plate 508. A nut 526 may be tightened onto the bolt 520 to effectively clamp down on the longitudinal wires 116, thereby creating a frictional engagement configured to prevent the removal of the soil reinforcing element 114.
  • [0050]
    Referring to FIG. 5A, before completely tightening the first coupling assembly 510, the soil reinforcing element 114 may be pivoted within the earthen formation 128 to avoid any vertical obstructions present therein, as noted above. For example, the soil reinforcing element 114, including the swivel plate 502 and retainer plate 508 coupled thereto, may rotate or swivel about an axis X and rotatingly translate along a horizontal plane in the direction of arrow A. Once the element 114 is positioned in an adequate location avoiding MSE mass obstructions, the first coupling assembly 510 may be fully tightened for permanent use.
  • [0051]
    Referring now to FIGS. 6A-6D, illustrated is another exemplary facing anchor 600 that may be used to secure a soil reinforcing element 114 to a facing 602. The facing 602, as shown in FIGS. 6C and 6D, may include a vertically-disposed, welded wire grid having a series of vertical wires 604 welded or otherwise coupled to a series of horizontal wires 606. The facing 602 may be secured to an earthen formation (not shown), such as layers of backfill in an MSE structure, via a connection between the facing anchor 600 and the soil reinforcing elements 114, and configured to aid in the prevention of the loosening or raveling of the soil between successive layers of soil reinforcing.
  • [0052]
    In at least one embodiment, the exemplary facing anchor 600 may be a device capable of receiving and securely seating one or more transverse wires 118 of the soil reinforcing element 114, and simultaneously connecting the soil reinforcing element 114 to at least one horizontal wire 606 (FIGS. 6C and 6D) of the facing 602. As illustrated, the facing anchor 600 may include first and second sides 608, 610 connected by a connecting member 612 at one end. In one embodiment, the connecting member 612 may include a 180° bend or turn in the structure of the facing anchor 600, thereby defining a gap 611 (FIG. 6B) between the first and second sides 608, 610. The gap 611 may be configured to accommodate at least one transverse wire 118 coupled to the longitudinal wires 116. Moreover, the connecting member 612 may also define a vertical slot 613, as will be further discussed below.
  • [0053]
    Each side 608, 610 may define two transverse protrusions 614. However, other exemplary embodiments may define more or less than two transverse protrusions 614 to thereby fit other applications. A coupling perforation 616 and a trough 618 may also be defined on each side 608, 610. In embodiments having two transverse protrusions 614, as illustrated, the coupling perforation 616 of each side 608, 610 may be concentrically defined therebetween. Thus, in at least one embodiment, the first and second sides 608, 610 of the facing anchor 600 can be mirror images of each other.
  • [0054]
    Referring to FIG. 6C, the facing anchor 600 may be coupled to a soil reinforcing element 114 and the facing 602 as described below. In at least one embodiment, the connecting member 612 of the facing anchor 600 may be configured to receive, or be hooked on a horizontal wire 606 of the facing 602 between two adjacent vertical wires 604. To secure the facing anchor 600 to the horizontal wire 606, and prevent its removal therefrom, a pin 619 may be inserted into the vertical slot 613 defined in the connecting member 612. In at least one embodiment, the pin 619 may provide a biasing engagement against both the horizontal wire 606 and the vertical slot 613 of the facing anchor 600.
  • [0055]
    Similar to the coupling assemblies 122, 310, 510, 518 described above, a coupling assembly 620 (FIG. 6C) may be used to secure a first and a second transverse wire 118 a,b within the transverse protrusions 614 of at least one side 608, 610 of the facing anchor 600. Other embodiments may seat and secure more or less than two transverse wires 118 to the facing anchor 600, including having transverse wires 118 seated and secured within transverse protrusions 614 of both sides 608, 610, or any combination thereof. In at least one embodiment, the coupling assembly 620 may include a bolt 621 and nut 622 assembly having a washer disposed at each end, but may also include other means of mechanical coupling without departing from the scope of the disclosure. In exemplary operation, the bolt 621 may be extended through the coupling perforations 616 of each side 608, 610 and the nut 622 may be tightened onto the end of the bolt 621 to clamp down on the longitudinal wires 116 and prevent the removal of the soil reinforcing element 114.
  • [0056]
    Referring to FIG. 6D, another exemplary method of coupling the facing anchor 600 to a facing 602 is depicted. Similar to embodiments disclosed with reference to FIGS. 2A and 2B, a connector pin 624, such as in the shape of a “U,” may used to secure the sides 608, 610 of the facing anchor 600 together, thereby further securing the first and second transverse wires 118 a,b against removal from the transverse protrusions 614. The connector pin 624 may be inserted laterally into the troughs 618 defined on each side 608, 610 of the facing anchor 600. In at least one embodiment, the connector pin 624 may include a small bead 626 disposed on the inside portion of each leg of the connector pin 624. In one or more embodiments, the bead 626 may include a small globule of welded material and may be configured to prevent removal of the connector pin 624 once in place.
  • [0057]
    Referring now to FIGS. 7A-7B, FIG. 7A illustrates a side view of an exemplary system 700 of constructing an MSE structure to a desired height. The system 700 can be characterized as one or more levels or lifts, such as a first lift 702 a being generally disposed below a second lift 702 b. While only two lifts 702 a,b are shown in FIG. 7A, it will be appreciated that any number of lifts may be used to fit a particular application and reach a desired height for the MSE structure. In one embodiment, the second lift 702 b may be stacked atop a mass of backfill 704 disposed upon or otherwise added to a particular height with respect to the first lift 702 a.
  • [0058]
    Each lift 702 a,b may include a wire facing 706 having one or more soil reinforcing elements 708 coupled thereto. Similar to the soil reinforcing element 114 described above, the soil reinforcing element 708, as shown in FIGS. 7A and 8A-8C, may include a wire grid having at least two longitudinal wires 116 disposed substantially parallel to each other, and a series of transverse wires 118 welded or otherwise attached to the longitudinal wires 116 in a generally perpendicular fashion. Each longitudinal wire 116, however, may include an upwardly-extending extension 709 disposed at its lead end. In one embodiment, each extension 709 may be disposed at about 90° with respect to the longitudinal wires 116. In other embodiments, however, each extension 709 may be configured at greater or less than 90° with respect to the longitudinal wires 116.
  • [0059]
    One or more struts 710 may also be coupled to each wire facing 706 and adapted to maintain the wire facing 706 in a predetermined angular configuration. The backfill 704 may be sequentially added to the system 700 in a plurality of layers configured to cover the soil reinforcing elements 708, thereby providing tensile strength to each wire facing 706 and preventing their outward displacement.
  • [0060]
    FIG. 7B illustrates a back face isometric view of an exemplary wire facing 706 as used in the system 700. Each wire facing 706 of the system 700 may be fabricated from several lengths of cold-drawn wire welded and arranged into a mesh panel. The wire mesh panel can then be folded or otherwise shaped to form a substantially L-shaped assembly including a horizontal element 712 and a vertical facing 714, or first and second vertical facings 714 a and 714 b, respectively, as shown in FIGS. 7A and 7C. The horizontal element 712 may include a plurality of horizontal wires 716 welded or otherwise attached to one or more cross wires 718, such as an initial wire 718 a, a terminal wire 718 b, and a median wire 718 c. The initial wire 718 a may be disposed adjacent to and directly behind the vertical facing 714, thereby being positioned inside the MSE structure. The terminal wire 718 b may be disposed at or near the distal ends of the horizontal wires 716. The median wire 718 c may be welded or otherwise coupled to the horizontal wires 716 and disposed laterally between the initial and terminal wires 718 a,b. As can be appreciated, any number of cross wires 718 can be employed without departing from the scope of the disclosure. For instance, in at least one embodiment, the median wire 718 c may be excluded from the system 700.
  • [0061]
    The vertical facing 714 can include a plurality of vertical wires 720 extending vertically with reference to the horizontal element 712 and laterally-spaced from each other. In one embodiment, the vertical wires 720 may be vertically-extending extensions of the horizontal wires 716. The vertical facing 714 may also include a plurality of facing cross wires 722 vertically-offset from each other and welded or otherwise attached to the vertical wires 720. A top-most cross wire 724 may be vertically-offset from the last facing cross wire 722 and also attached to the vertical wires 720 in like manner.
  • [0062]
    In at least one embodiment, each vertical wire 720 may be separated by a distance of about 4 inches on center from adjacent vertical wires 720, and the facing cross wires 722 may also be separated from each other by a distance of about 4 inches on center, thereby generating a grid-like facing composed of a plurality of square voids having a 4″×4″ dimension. As can be appreciated, however, the spacing between adjacent wires 720, 722 can be varied to more or less than 4 inches to suit varying applications and the spacing need not be equidistant. In one embodiment, the top-most cross wire 724 may be vertically-offset from the last facing cross wire 722 by a distance X, as will be discussed in more detail below.
  • [0063]
    The wire facing 706 may further include a plurality of connector leads 726 a-g extending from the horizontal element 712 and up the vertical facing 714. In an embodiment, each connector lead 726 a-g may include a pair of horizontal wires 716 (or vertical wires 720, if taken from the frame of reference of the vertical facing 714) laterally-offset from each other by a short distance. The short distance can vary depending on the particular application, but may generally include about a one inch separation. In one embodiment, each connector lead 726 a-g may be equidistantly-spaced from each other along the horizontal element 712 and/or vertical facing 714, and configured to provide a visual indicator to an installer as to where a soil reinforcing element 708 may be properly attached, as will be described in greater detail below. In at least one embodiment, each connector lead 726 a-g may be spaced from each other by about 12 inches on center. As can be appreciated, however, such relative distances may vary to suit particular applications.
  • [0064]
    Still referring to FIG. 7B, one or more struts 710 may be operatively coupled to the wire facing 706. As illustrated, the struts 710 may be coupled to both the vertical facing 714 and the horizontal element 712 at appropriate locations. Each strut 710 may be prefabricated with or include a strut connector 728 disposed at each end of the strut 710 and configured to fasten or otherwise attach the struts 710 to both the horizontal element 712 and the vertical facing 714. In at least one embodiment, the strut connector 728 may include a hook that is bent about 180° back upon itself. In other embodiments, however, the strut connector 728 may include a wire loop disposed at each end of the struts 710 that can be manipulated, clipped, or otherwise tied to both the horizontal element 712 and the vertical facing 714. As can be appreciated, however, the struts 710 can be coupled to the horizontal element 712 and the vertical facing 714 by any practicable method or device known in the art.
  • [0065]
    Each strut 710 may be coupled at one end to at least one facing cross wire 722 and at the other end to the terminal wire 718 b. In other embodiments, one or more struts 710 may be coupled to the median wire 718 c instead of the terminal wire 718 b, without departing from the scope of the disclosure. As illustrated, each strut 710 may be coupled to the wire facing 706 in general alignment with a corresponding connector lead 726 a-g. In other embodiments, however, the struts 710 can be connected at any location along the respective axial lengths of any facing cross wire 722 and terminal wire 718 b, without departing from the scope of the disclosure. In yet other embodiments, the struts 710 may be coupled to a vertical wire 720 of the vertical facing 714 and/or a horizontal wire 716 of the horizontal element 712, respectively, without departing from the scope of the disclosure.
  • [0066]
    The struts 710 are generally coupled to the wire facing 706 before any backfill 704 (FIG. 7A) is added to the respective lift 702 a,b of the system 700. During the placement of backfill 704, and during the working life of the system 700, the struts 710 may be adapted to prevent the vertical facing 714 from bending past a predetermined vertical angle. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the struts. 710 may be configured to maintain the vertical facing 714 at or near about 90° with respect to the horizontal element 712. As can be appreciated, however, the struts 710 can be fabricated to varying lengths or otherwise attached at varying locations along the wire facing 706 to maintain the vertical facing 714 at a variety of angles of orientation. Once properly installed, the struts 710 may allow installers to walk on the backfill 704 of the MSE structure, tamp it, and compact it fully before adding a new layer or lift 702.
  • [0067]
    Referring now to FIGS. 8A-8C, with continued reference to FIGS. 7A and 7B, illustrated is various views of an exemplary connector or connection device 730 as used in the system 700 for coupling the soil reinforcing element 708 to the wire facing 706, and in particular to the vertical facings 714 a and 714 b of the first and second lifts 702 a and 702 b, respectively. FIG. 8A is an isometric view of the connection device 730, FIG. 8B is a plan view of the connection device 730, and FIG. 8C is an exploded cross-sectional side view of the connection device 730. Although the connection device 730 is shown connecting first and second vertical facings 714 a,b, it will be appreciated that the connection device 730 may equally be used to couple a soil reinforcing element 708 to a single vertical facing 714, as is the case with the first lift 702 a depicted in FIG. 7A and in both lifts 102 a,b in FIG. 80 described below.
  • [0068]
    In one or more embodiments, the connection device 730 may include at least one bearing plate 732 having one or more longitudinal protrusions 740 configured to receive or otherwise seat the upwardly-extending extensions 709 of the soil reinforcing element 708 when installed in the system 700. As can be appreciated, in embodiments having more than two longitudinal wires 116, with corresponding more than two upwardly-extending extensions 709, there may be a corresponding number of longitudinal protrusions 740 to accommodate each extension 709. The longitudinal protrusions 740 may serve to centralize the soil reinforcing element 708 with respect to the bearing plate 732 and prevent the soil reinforcing element 708 from shifting or otherwise moving from side to side. This may prove advantageous during settling and/or thermal contraction and expansion of the MSE structure where the soil reinforcing element 708 may otherwise become dislodged from the system 700 and thereby weaken the structural integrity of the MSE structure.
  • [0069]
    The bearing plate 732 may be configured to accommodate or otherwise receive a rod 734, such as a threaded rod, via a perforation (not shown) centrally-defined within the bearing plate 732. In at least one embodiment, the rod 734 may be a bolt, but may also be a length of rebar or other rigid material. The rod 734 may be configured to extend through the perforation (not shown) of the bearing plate 732 and further through any adjacent vertical facings 714, such as vertical facings 714 a,b, as best seen in FIG. 8C. Once extended through the bearing plate 732 and adjacent vertical facings 714 a,b, the rod 734 may be secured from removal by threading a nut 736 or similar device onto its end. In other embodiments, the nut 736 may be omitted and the rod 734 may be bent to one side, thereby preventing its removal. In at least one embodiment, a washer 738 may be interposed between the nut 736 and the vertical facings 714 a,b. As the nut 736 is tightened, the washer 738 may be forced into engagement with the outside surface of the first vertical facing 714 a.
  • [0070]
    As illustrated, the connection device 730 may be coupled to the vertical facings 714 a,b at a connector lead 726 a-g, such as connector lead 726 a as shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B. Accordingly, the washer 738 may be appropriately sized so as to properly engage the outside surface of the connector lead 726 a. In other embodiments, however, the connection device 730 may be coupled at any location of the vertical facing 714, for example, between adjacent vertical wires 720 (FIG. 7B). In such an embodiment, a larger washer 738 or similar device is contemplated in order to adequately engage each vertical wire 720 and secure the soil reinforcing element 708 from removal. Consequently, any size washer 738 may be used to suit a particular application so as to adequately engage the vertical facing 714.
  • [0071]
    In exemplary operation, with continued reference to FIGS. 7A and 8C, the first lift 702 a may be disposed substantially below the second lift 702 b, with its vertical facing 714 a being placed laterally in front of or adjacent the vertical facing 714 b of the second lift 702 b. Backfill 704 may be added to at least a portion of the first lift 702 a to a first height or distance Y above the last facing cross wire 722. The second lift 702 b may be disposed on top of the backfill 704, thereby being placed a distance Y above the last facing cross wire 722. As will be appreciated, the first height or distance Y can be any distance or height less than the distance X, or the vertically-offset distance between the last facing cross wire 722 and the top-most cross wire 724. For example, the distance Y can be up to but less than the distance X, thereby providing backfill 704 up to but just below the top-most cross wire 724 of the vertical facing 714 a.
  • [0072]
    According to embodiments disclosed herein, the connection device 730 may be configured to not only couple a soil reinforcing element 708 to a single vertical facing 714 or a pair of vertical facings 714 a,b, but it may also facilitate a sliding or slidable engagement between adjacent lifts 702 a and 702 b. In order to ensure a sliding engagement between the first and second lifts 702 a,b, the nut 736 may be “finger-tightened,” or tightened so as to nonetheless allow vertical movement of either the first or second lift 702 a,b with respect to each other. Tightening the nut 736 may bring the bearing plate 732 and/or upwardly-extending extensions 709 into engagement with the vertical facing 714 b of the second lift 702 b, having the soil reinforcing element 708 resting on or at least adjacent the initial wire 718 a. Tightening the nut 736 may also bring the washer 738 into engagement with the vertical facing 714 a of the first lift 702 a, as discussed above. In at least one embodiment, tightening the nut 736 may further bring the top-most cross wire 724 of the first vertical facing 714 a into engagement with the second vertical facing 714 b and thereby further prevent the outward displacement of the second vertical facing 714 b. However, in other embodiments, the top-most cross wire 724 is not necessarily brought into contact with the second vertical facing 714 b, but the second vertical facing 714 b may be held in its angular configuration by the strut 118 and connection device 120 disposed on the last facing cross wire 722.
  • [0073]
    Placing the second lift 702 b a distance Y above the last facing cross wire 722 allows the second lift 702 b to vertically shift the distance Y in reaction to MSE settling or thermal expansion/contraction of the MSE structure before coming into contact with the last facing cross wire 722 and potentially the strut 710 of the first lift 702 a. Accordingly, the distance Y can be characterized as a distance of settlement over which the second lift 702 b may be able to traverse without binding on the first lift 702 a and thereby weakening the structural integrity of the MSE system.
  • [0074]
    Referring now to FIGS. 8D and 8E, in other exemplary embodiments the soil reinforcing elements 708 may be attached to the vertical facings 714 a,b at multiple locations and at any vertical height relative to the respective horizontal elements 712 a,b. For example, as depicted in FIG. 8D, one or more soil reinforcing elements 708 may be vertically-offset from the horizontal elements 712 a,b a distance Q. In operation, a first quantity of backfill 704 a may be placed on the first horizontal element 712 a of the first lift 702 a and compacted to a first height Q above the first horizontal element 712 a. A soil reinforcing element 708 may then be placed on top of the first quantity of backfill 704 a and coupled or otherwise attached to the first vertical facing 714 a using the connection device 730 as generally described above.
  • [0075]
    A second quantity of backfill 704 b may then be placed atop the first quantity of backfill 704 a to a second height Y above the last facing cross wire 722. As shown in FIG. 8D, the second height Y can be below the top-most cross wire 724 to facilitate the connection of another soil reinforcing element 708 to the first vertical facing 714 a. As generally described above, the second height Y may provide the soil reinforcing element 708 a settling distance. It will be appreciated, however, that a soil reinforcing element 708 is not required to be placed atop the second quantity of backfill 704 b. Instead, the soil reinforcing element 708 may be omitted and the second lift 702 b may be placed directly on top of the second quantity of backfill 704 b, without departing from the scope of the disclosure. It will further be appreciated, that the soil reinforcing element 708 placed atop the first quantity of backfill 704 a may also be omitted, and instead the first and second quantities of backfill 704 a,b may be combined into a single mass, as shown in FIG. 7A.
  • [0076]
    As shown in FIG. 8E, the second height Y of the second quantity of backfill 704 b may extend to the top-most cross wire 724, or otherwise be level therewith once compacted. Accordingly, the second lift 702 b may be placed directly on top of the first lift 702 a by engaging the second quantity of backfill 704 b. While not shown, it will be appreciated that a soil reinforcing element 708 may be placed within the second quantity of backfill 704 b, as generally described with reference to FIG. 8D.
  • [0077]
    The second lift 702 b may be constructed substantially similar to the first lift 702 a, but may also include one or more struts 710 as described above. While not specifically shown in FIG. 8D, one or more struts 710 may also be added to the first lift 702 a, without departing from the disclosure. In one or more embodiments, the strut 710 may be laterally-offset (e.g., laterally into or out of the page in FIG. 8D) from the soil reinforcing elements 708. In other embodiments, the strut 710 may be interposed between the longitudinal wires 116 of the soil reinforcing elements 708, as shown in FIG. 8B.
  • [0078]
    After the optional placement of the strut 710, a third quantity of backfill 704 c may be placed on the second horizontal element 712 b of the second lift 702 b to a third height Q above the second horizontal element 712 b. The first and third height Q may be substantially similar, but may otherwise differ, depending on the application. After a soil reinforcing element 708 is placed atop the compacted third quantity of backfill 704 c and coupled to the second vertical facing 714 b with a connection device 730, a fourth portion of backfill 704 d may be added and compacted. The fourth quantity of backfill 704 d may be added atop the third quantity of backfill 704 c to a fourth height Y above the last facing cross wire 722 of the second vertical facing 714 b. The second and fourth height Y may be substantially similar, but may otherwise differ, depending on the application.
  • [0079]
    Referring to both FIGS. 8D and 8E, the second vertical facing 714 b of the second lift 702 b may be laterally-offset from the first vertical facing 714 a of the first lift by a distance Z, thereby forming a terraced wall. As can be appreciated, the distance Z may vary depending on the application. In embodiments having a soil reinforcing element 708 disposed atop the second quantity of backfill 704 b, the second lift 702 b may be able to settle the second distance Y, as described above. Where the soil reinforcing element 708 disposed atop the second quantity of backfill 704 b is omitted, the second lift 702 b may be able to settle a distance greater than the second distance Y.
  • [0080]
    The foregoing has outlined features of several embodiments so that those skilled in the art may better understand the present disclosure. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they may readily use the present disclosure as a basis for designing or modifying other processes and structures for carrying out the same purposes and/or achieving the same advantages of the embodiments introduced herein. Those skilled in the art should also realize that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure, and that they may make various changes, substitutions and alterations herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure.

Claims (25)

  1. 1. A mechanically stabilized earth structure, comprising:
    a wire facing having a bend formed therein to form a horizontal element and a vertical facing, the horizontal element having initial and terminal wires each coupled to a plurality of horizontal wires, and the vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires and a top-most cross wire;
    a soil reinforcing element having a plurality of transverse wires coupled to at least two longitudinal wires having upwardly-extending extensions; and
    a connection device having a bearing plate with one or more longitudinal protrusions configured to receive the upwardly-extending extensions, the connection device being configured to couple the soil reinforcing element to the vertical facing.
  2. 2. The structure of claim 1, wherein the connection device further comprises:
    a rod extensible through a perforation defined in the bearing plate and the vertical facing;
    a washer radially disposed about the rod adjacent an outside surface of the vertical facing; and
    a nut coupled to the rod and configured to force the washer into engagement with the outside surface of the vertical facing.
  3. 3. The structure of claim 2, wherein the connection device is coupled to the wire facing at a connector lead extending from the horizontal element and up the vertical facing.
  4. 4. The structure of claim 2, wherein the connection device is coupled to the wire facing at adjacent vertical wires and the washer is sized to engage each adjacent vertical wire.
  5. 5. The structure of claim 1, further comprising a strut having a first end coupled to the vertical facing and a second end coupled to the horizontal element, the strut being configured to maintain the vertical facing at a predetermined angle with respect to the horizontal element.
  6. 6. The structure of claim 5, wherein the first end of the strut is coupled to one of the plurality of facing cross wires disposed below the top-most cross wire and the second end of the strut is coupled to the terminal wire.
  7. 7. A method of constructing a mechanically stabilized earth structure, comprising:
    providing a first lift comprising a first wire facing bent to form a first horizontal element and a first vertical facing, the first horizontal element having initial and terminal wires coupled to a plurality of horizontal wires, and the first vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires including a last facing cross wire and a top-most cross wire vertically-disposed above the last facing cross wire;
    seating upwardly-extending extensions of one or more longitudinal wires of a first soil reinforcing element within one or more longitudinal protrusions defined on a first bearing plate;
    extending a first rod through a first perforation defined on the first bearing plate and further through the first vertical facing;
    engaging an outside surface of the first vertical facing with a first washer disposed radially about an end of the first rod, the first washer being forced into engagement with the outside surface of the first vertical facing by a first nut coupled to the end of the first rod; and
    placing backfill on the first lift to a first height above the last facing cross wire of the first vertical facing.
  8. 8. The method of claim 7, further comprising coupling a first end of a strut to the first vertical facing and a second end of the strut to the first horizontal element, the strut being configured to maintain the first vertical facing at a predetermined angle with respect to the first horizontal element.
  9. 9. The method of claim 8, wherein the first end of the strut is coupled to the last facing cross wire and the second end of the strut is coupled to the terminal wire.
  10. 10. The method of claim 7, further comprising placing a second lift on the backfill of the first lift, the second lift comprising a second wire facing bent to form a second horizontal element and a second vertical facing.
  11. 11. The method of claim 10, wherein the second lift is not in contact with the first lift but is completely supported by the backfill of the first lift.
  12. 12. The method of claim 10, further comprising:
    seating upwardly-extending extensions of one or more longitudinal wires of a second soil reinforcing element within one or more longitudinal protrusions defined on a second bearing plate extending a second rod through a second perforation defined on the second bearing plate and further through the second and first vertical facings;
    engaging the outside surface of the first vertical facing with a second washer disposed radially about an end of the second rod, the second washer being forced into engagement with the outside surface of the first vertical facing by a second nut coupled to the end of the second rod and configured to allow the second lift to slidingly engage the first lift for at least the first height.
  13. 13. A mechanically stabilized earth structure, comprising:
    a first lift comprising:
    a first wire facing having a first horizontal element and a first vertical facing, the first horizontal element having initial and terminal wires coupled to a plurality of horizontal wires, and the first vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires including a last facing cross wire and a top-most cross wire vertically-disposed above the last facing cross wire;
    a first soil reinforcing element having a plurality of transverse wires coupled to at least two longitudinal wires having upwardly-extending extensions;
    a first connection device having a first bearing plate with one or more longitudinal protrusions configured to receive the upwardly-extending extensions of the first soil reinforcing element, the first connection device being configured to couple the soil reinforcing element to the first vertical facing; and
    backfill disposed on the first wire facing to a first height above the last facing cross wire of the first vertical facing; and
    a second lift disposed on the backfill of the first lift, the second lift comprising:
    a second wire facing having a second horizontal element and a second vertical facing;
    a second soil reinforcing element disposed on the second horizontal element and having a plurality of transverse wires coupled to at least two longitudinal wires having upwardly-extending extensions;
    a second connection device having a second bearing plate with one or more longitudinal protrusions configured to receive the upwardly-extending extensions of the second soil reinforcing element, the second connection device being configured to couple the second soil reinforcing element to the first and second vertical facings.
  14. 14. The structure of claim 13, wherein the first connection device further comprises:
    a first rod extensible through a perforation defined on the first bearing plate and the first vertical facing;
    a first washer radially disposed about the first rod adjacent an outside surface of the first vertical facing; and
    a first nut coupled to the first rod and configured to force the first washer into engagement with the outside surface of the first vertical facing.
  15. 15. The structure of claim 14, wherein the first connection device is coupled to the first wire facing at a connector lead extending from the first horizontal element and up the first vertical facing.
  16. 16. The structure of claim 14, wherein the first connection device is coupled to the first wire facing at adjacent vertical wires and the first washer is sized to engage each adjacent vertical wire.
  17. 17. The structure of claim 13, wherein the second connection device further comprises:
    a second rod extensible through a perforation defined on the second bearing plate and further through the second and first vertical facings;
    a second washer radially disposed about the second rod adjacent an outside surface of the first vertical facing; and
    a second nut coupled to the second rod and configured to force the second washer into engagement with the outside surface of the first vertical facing.
  18. 18. The structure of claim 17, wherein the second vertical facing slidably engages the first vertical facing for a distance less than or equal to the first height.
  19. 19. A method of constructing a mechanically stabilized earth structure, comprising:
    providing a first lift comprising a first wire facing bent to form a first horizontal element and a first vertical facing, the first vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires including a last facing cross wire and a top-most cross wire vertically-disposed above the last facing cross wire;
    placing a first quantity of backfill on the first lift to a first height above the first horizontal element;
    coupling a first soil reinforcing element to the first vertical facing at the first height and on top of the first quantity of backfill;
    placing a second quantity of backfill atop the first quantity of backfill and the first soil reinforcing element to a second height above the last facing cross wire of the first vertical facing;
    disposing a second lift atop the first lift, the second lift comprising a second wire facing bent to form a second horizontal element and a second vertical facing, the second vertical facing having a plurality of vertical wires coupled to a plurality of facing cross wires including a last facing cross wire and a top-most cross wire vertically-disposed above the last facing cross wire;
    placing a third quantity of backfill on the second lift to a third height above the second horizontal element;
    coupling a second soil reinforcing element to the second vertical facing at the third height and on top of the third quantity of backfill; and
    placing a fourth quantity of backfill atop the third quantity of backfill and the second soil reinforcing element to a fourth height above the last facing cross wire of the second vertical facing.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, wherein coupling the first soil reinforcing element to the first vertical facing at the first height further comprises:
    seating upwardly-extending extensions of the first soil reinforcing element within one or more longitudinal protrusions defined on a first bearing plate;
    extending a first rod through a perforation defined on the first bearing plate and further through the first vertical facing; and
    engaging an outside surface of the first vertical facing with a first washer disposed radially about an end of the first rod, the first washer being forced into engagement with the outside surface of the first vertical facing by a first nut coupled to the end of the first rod.
  21. 21. The method of claim 19, wherein coupling the second soil reinforcing element to the second vertical facing at the third height further comprises:
    seating upwardly-extending extensions of the second soil reinforcing element within one or more longitudinal protrusions defined on a second bearing plate;
    extending a second rod through a perforation defined on the second bearing plate and further through the second vertical facing; and
    engaging an outside surface of the second vertical facing with a second washer disposed radially about an end of the second rod, the second washer being forced into engagement with the outside surface of the second vertical facing by a second nut coupled to the end of the second rod.
  22. 22. The method of claim 19, further comprising coupling a third soil reinforcing element to the first vertical facing at the second height before disposing the second lift on the second quantity of backfill.
  23. 23. The method of claim 19, wherein the second height is level with the top-most cross wire.
  24. 24. The method of claim 19, further comprising disposing the second lift on the second quantity of backfill such that the second vertical facing is laterally-offset from the first vertical facing a distance Z.
  25. 25. The method of claim 19, further comprising coupling a first end of a strut to the second vertical facing and a second end of the strut to the second horizontal element, the strut being configured to maintain the second vertical facing at a predetermined angle with respect to the second horizontal element.
US12861632 2010-01-08 2010-08-23 Soil reinforcing connector and method of constructing a mechanically stabilized earth structure Abandoned US20110170958A1 (en)

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US12684479 US8393829B2 (en) 2010-01-08 2010-01-08 Wave anchor soil reinforcing connector and method
US12861632 US20110170958A1 (en) 2010-01-08 2010-08-23 Soil reinforcing connector and method of constructing a mechanically stabilized earth structure

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US20110311317A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2011-12-22 T & B Structural Systems Llc Soil reinforcing element for a mechanically stabilized earth structure
US20110311314A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2011-12-22 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth welded wire facing connection system and method
US20110311318A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2011-12-22 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth system and method
US20120224927A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2012-09-06 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth welded wire facing connection system and method
US8393829B2 (en) 2010-01-08 2013-03-12 T&B Structural Systems Llc Wave anchor soil reinforcing connector and method
US20130136544A1 (en) * 2011-11-30 2013-05-30 EarthTec International LLC Mechanical earth stabilizing system including reinforcing members with enhanced soil shear resistance
US8496411B2 (en) 2008-06-04 2013-07-30 T & B Structural Systems Llc Two stage mechanically stabilized earth wall system
US8632279B2 (en) 2010-01-08 2014-01-21 T & B Structural Systems Llc Splice for a soil reinforcing element or connector
US8632277B2 (en) 2009-01-14 2014-01-21 T & B Structural Systems Llc Retaining wall soil reinforcing connector and method
US8632281B2 (en) 2010-06-17 2014-01-21 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth system and method
US9322143B1 (en) 2014-04-09 2016-04-26 Desmond D. Bryan Retaining wall clamping assembly
US9605402B2 (en) 2009-01-14 2017-03-28 Thomas P. Taylor Retaining wall soil reinforcing connector and method

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US8496411B2 (en) 2008-06-04 2013-07-30 T & B Structural Systems Llc Two stage mechanically stabilized earth wall system
US8632277B2 (en) 2009-01-14 2014-01-21 T & B Structural Systems Llc Retaining wall soil reinforcing connector and method
US9605402B2 (en) 2009-01-14 2017-03-28 Thomas P. Taylor Retaining wall soil reinforcing connector and method
US8632279B2 (en) 2010-01-08 2014-01-21 T & B Structural Systems Llc Splice for a soil reinforcing element or connector
US8393829B2 (en) 2010-01-08 2013-03-12 T&B Structural Systems Llc Wave anchor soil reinforcing connector and method
US20120224927A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2012-09-06 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth welded wire facing connection system and method
US20110311318A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2011-12-22 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth system and method
US8734059B2 (en) * 2010-06-17 2014-05-27 T&B Structural Systems Llc Soil reinforcing element for a mechanically stabilized earth structure
US20110311314A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2011-12-22 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth welded wire facing connection system and method
US8632278B2 (en) * 2010-06-17 2014-01-21 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth welded wire facing connection system and method
US8632282B2 (en) * 2010-06-17 2014-01-21 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth system and method
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US8632280B2 (en) * 2010-06-17 2014-01-21 T & B Structural Systems Llc Mechanically stabilized earth welded wire facing connection system and method
US20110311317A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2011-12-22 T & B Structural Systems Llc Soil reinforcing element for a mechanically stabilized earth structure
US20130136544A1 (en) * 2011-11-30 2013-05-30 EarthTec International LLC Mechanical earth stabilizing system including reinforcing members with enhanced soil shear resistance
US9322143B1 (en) 2014-04-09 2016-04-26 Desmond D. Bryan Retaining wall clamping assembly

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