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Risk Mitigation & Protective Structures

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Risk Mitigation & Protective Structures

Mechanically Stabilized Earth Used as Protective Structure

Our earliest MSE wall projects were for the purpose of repairing, protecting, and mitigating risk. These first applications involved a landslide in California and containment dikes in both Maryland and Alaska.

The durable precast reinforced concrete used for our products, the mechanical facing connections used for our MSE wall systems, and the natural ability of MSE to absorb and resist a variety of outside forces, have allowed our engineers to continue to develop a growing list of solutions that help provide safety and wellbeing for people, infrastructure, and animals in a wide range of sectors.

We have the ability to design an MSE wall or other structure to take the shape of any configuration needed. Here are just a few examples:

Vehicular and Railroad

  • In addition to precast traffic barrier for highways, we are experienced in the design of crash walls for protecting structures from catastrophic failure under a collision, as well as preventing collisions between oncoming railroad traffic.
  • Crash walls can be integrated into bridge abutment retaining walls using a concealed method or thickened facing panels. Alternatively, attachments can be provided for installing a cast-in-place protective structure on the front face.
  • Narrow back-to-back retaining walls are ideal for larger barriers along railroad tracks for protecting nearby structures and oncoming traffic from train derailments.
MSE Wall Structure Along Railway Flyover
A narrow back-to-back MSE wall protects piers for a railway flyover.


Our MSE walls make for an efficient double-sided dike wall to contain spillage of liquid from large tanks. In particular, multiple petroleum and liquid natural gas tank farms have implemented our solution, which requires less backfill than a conventional sloped embankment, and withstands the extreme temperature conditions in the event that the spilled material combusts.


  • Protection of the public from sound due to highways and commercial or industrial facilities.
  • Our sound wall systems have also been used in applications for securing perimeters from trespassing. Specifically, FanWall® has undergone full-scale testing of ballistics and forced entry for use in the military and other secure locations.
  • When needed for fall protection, our retaining walls are easily designed to accommodate pedestrian handrails or fences of all types.
  • Our arches are the perfect solution for bridges and tunnels that keep pedestrians and wildlife separated from busy roadways.
Post-and-Panel Wall Protecting Electrical Facility
A post-and-panel wall provides security for an electrical facility.

Erosion Control

The durability of our precast concrete wall facing provides excellent protection against erosion of embankments and shorelines. The mechanical connections used for our MSE walls ensure that the facing will remain intact and stand up to the force of water, flooding, and wave action during the entire service life of the structure.

Fire and Thermal Shocks

In applications where there is a need for a barrier to protect people, infrastructure, or assets from blasting or explosions, our MSE walls and arches have proven to have the ability to absorb these forces while minimizing collateral damage. These structures have taken the form of barrier walls for airplane hangars, earth-covered storage facilities for explosives, and more.

Natural Disasters

MSE walls have proven themselves to be extremely resilient in the face of natural disasters. After a severe earthquake, sometimes the only thing left standing on a bridge is the MSE wall approach. The inherent flexibility of the MSE structure allows it to absorb energy and deform just enough under dynamic loading to remain in service. Add this to a list of other examples such as tornado and hurricane shelters, flood protection, avalanche and rockfall protection, and landslide repair.

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Protective Structure Applications for MSE Retaining Walls Thumbnail

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