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Segmented Retaining Wall Performance Specifications

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I am putting together a bid package for a segmented retaining wall.  The package is a performance specification bid and construction.  I am not personally designing the wall.  I want to get enough information on the documents so that the proprietary vendors will be bidding on an “apples to apples” basis.


I would like to get some feedback from some of you who have put these performance specification type packages together.  I would like to hear about what kind of information should be included and what shouldn’t.  If you have done this type of package and realized you should have included “such and such” information and didn’t, I would appreciate knowing it.  If you have been burned by a contractor because you didn’t have the right information on your documents, I would like to hear it.


My documents include a generic specification and the following drawings:

  • Site plan showing grading contours and wall location
  • Typical wall section showing battered wall and fabric embedments.  They are minimum embedments with the design engineer increasing them as required for wall design.
  • Typical section also shows surcharge loading and drainage aggregate and filter fabric.  Also, footing is the compacted crush stone and a note requiring stabilizing existing soils below wall footing.
  • An additional section at a lake shoreline showing riprap at base of wall, filter fabric below riprap and all the items on the first section.
  • Wall sections and elevations where box culverts and large concrete pipe penetrate wall.
  • Typical block unit detail showing nominal dimensions.
  • Typical details of convex and concave radius corners
  • Typical details for 90 degree corners, interior and exterior.
  • Geofabric lap details for the 2 corner conditions noted above
  • Typical step footing detail
  • Typical cap details.
  • General notes giving information about responsibility for design, generic notes and geotechnical design information.


There is also a written specification section for the project manual.


I got a lot of this information from NCMA design manual. I think the one I had was the 1st edition and I understand there may be a 2nd edition out now.


Please feel free to email me privately if you don’t want to post on the list server.


Thanks for your help!


Rich Lewis

Lewis Engineering