Steepened Reinforced Slopes Steepened Reinforced Slopes Steepened Reinforced Slopes

Steepened Reinforced Soil Slopes

cost effective soil reinforced structures.

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General Information

Retaining Solutions is able to provide a range of options to the designer, developer or contractor to effectively increase useable land area and minimise fill requirements by steepening design batter slopes, retaining general fill cost effectively and provide innovative retaining wall systems that are either temporary or permanent structures.

The use of proprietary geosynthetics (varying polymer and construction type) incorporated as layers into soil has the effect of increasing the shear resistance of the soil and allows structures to be built using such “soil reinforced” techniques in a very cost effective manner using well accepted design methodologies. Sometimes and by using similar design methodologies the soil reinforcement element may be a steel strip. These techniques will generally allow the use of “on-site” soils without the costs associated with importing specific engineered fill materials.

Steepened Reinforced Slope

It is accepted to describe structures that have face angles somewhere between the angle of internal friction of the soil being retained (angle of repose) and up to 45º from the horizontal as steepened slopes, those structure that have face angles greater than 45º and up to 70º from the horizontal as reinforced slopes and those structures with face angles greater than 70º and up to 90 from the horizontal as soil reinforced walls.

The treatment at the face of the structure will largely be dependent on the design face angle of such structures. For applications of reinforced slopes and walls the facing option must be selected dependent upon the design life of the structure and the environment within which the structure will operate. Various facing options may be considered and may include a wrapped face geogrid or geotextile treatment, a wire mesh face (either vegetated or rock in-filled) or indeed a variety of readily available materials that should be selected on the basis of site specific requirements, required durability and availability. In all such applications there will need to be a connection between the structure face and soil reinforcement element such that a stable element is formed to resist local face instability and assist with compaction. Generally steepened slopes do not require facing treatments with the soil reinforcement element generally terminated at the surface of the structure. Sometimes in steepened slope applications there may need to be placed an erosion blanket on the surface to resist scour of the slope and assist in the vegetation of the slope.


The method of construction will vary dependent upon the both the design life and face angle of the structure. For steepened slopes the construction process is very simple and is generally the inclusion of the soil reinforcement element at the design elevations and length as fill proceeds with some final trim to the batter upon conclusion.

RE Panels are generally delivered to site direct from the manufacturers casting plant along with the custom designed steel reinforcement elements to ensure that the generally repetitive nature of erection of panels, connection of steel reinforcement elements and placement and compaction of backfill over the steel reinforcement elements can proceed quickly and cost effectively.


The technique of soil reinforcement is well documented and understood, with hundreds of structures built throughout Australia and globally. The designer must have a good understanding of the required design life of the proposed structure and the environment within which the structure will operate. Specific design advice may be sought from Retaining Solutions on the most appropriate facing

system and reinforcing element appropriate to the specific application being considered. The performance of the wall will be highly dependent upon the experience of the installer and the familiarity of such installer with these systems.


Dependent upon the facing system used there should be very careful assessment of the performance of some potential facing materials exposed to the environment. Geotextile and geogrid options unless covered may be subject to long term UV degradation. For applications involving short term design lives such as temporary walls then such materials may be suitable.

For extended design lives then the designer will need to consider additional protective treatments when using geogrids and geotextiles. Additional considerations that will need to be assessed by the designer include the likelihood of mechanical damage to the facing system selected. Generally the soil reinforcement included within the soil mass will have design lives of 100 years plus.


For the facing system selected and particularly in applications of steepened slopes and reinforced slopes there is the ability to incorporate native plants and grasses into the structure, such that a

highly attractive slope face is achieved that blends well into the surrounding environment. For walls of a temporary nature the considerations of aesthetics are generally not important.

Design flexibility

The wide range of facing options and reinforcing elements available on the market allow a wide variety of slopes and walls to be successfully constructed using on site soils. The designer may construct large height walls and slopes accommodating

a wide variety of wall and slope loads in a wide variety of engineering applications. The relatively low cost nature of this method of construction opens up new design opportunities and cost savings to our clients.

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Features & Benefits

  • Ability to use on site soils with significant cost savings
  • Rapid construction
  • Can be aesthetically appealing
  • Proven performance
  • Ability to effectively fill batters reducing fill volumes and alignment encroachment


  • Mass gravity walls
  • Reinforced soil structures
  • Sea walls
  • Coastal protection
  • Erosion prevention
  • Wing walls
  • Stream channels
  • Bridge abutments
  • Tunnel access walls
  • Temporary highway slip stabilisation
  • Embankment stabilisation
  • Temporary bin storage

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