MSE Wall Survey of Corrosion Progress – Joint Project with KSU

Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls with metallic reinforcement are a widely used, cost-effective means of earth retention. Metallic reinforcement is susceptible to corrosion, and the reinforcement is sized for a 75-year design life after allowing for a standard rate of corrosion. Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has a number of walls that are more than a third of their way through this design life. KDOT MSE projects commonly specify clean (low fines content) crushed stone aggregate for use as backfill for these structures in District 1. KDOT has also used sand backfill in Sedgewick County, Salina, and other locations. While clean, crushed-stone aggregates provide excellent drainage which reduces the potential for pore pressure buildup (and strength reduction) behind the wall, and should limit the progress of corrosion for walls with metallic reinforcement, corrosion has been observed in some very young walls, such as K-10 and I-435 and Ridgeview and K-10, and in some older walls as well. All MSE walls with metallic reinforcement will eventually need rehabilitation or replacement actions due to corrosion of their reinforcement. With many KDOT walls several decades into their design life, and with several walls already identified with potentially problematic backfills that are leading to enhanced corrosion rates, it would be valuable to conduct periodic inspections of all walls to monitor corrosion status and track the progress of corrosion on these structures, beginning with older walls and those with suspect backfills. Furthermore, a monitoring program will also potentially help flag problematic aggregates and prevent their future use. The objective of this research is to evaluate the progress of corrosion on MSE Wall reinforcement and to measure the resistivity of the aggregate backfill.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Final report is pending.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $68343
  • Contract Numbers:

    K-TRAN: KU-21-3



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Kansas Department of Transportation

    Eisenhower State Office Building
    700 SW Harrison Street
    Topeka, KS  United States  66603-3754
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Kansas Center for Research, Incorporated

    2291 Irving Hill Drive, Campus West
    Lawrence, KS  United States  66045
  • Principal Investigators:

    Han, Jie

    Parsons, Robert

  • Start Date: 20200801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240331
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01760106
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Kansas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: K-TRAN: KU-21-3, RE-0815-01, C2170
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 15 2020 3:18PM