An MSE retaining wall in Aurora.

Understanding the Basics of MSE Walls: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to the world of retaining walls, there are many options to choose from. From soil nail and wire-faced walls to shoring and gabions, the options are seemingly endless. Among the many types of retaining walls to know about, the MSE wall is one of the best but least understood. 

If you’re curious and want to know more about MSE walls in Aurora and whether or not it’s the right option for you, you’ve come to the right place. Slaton Bros is your trusted retaining wall contractor in Aurora, CO, and we’re ready to help with any project. Contact us online or call (303) 806-8160 to learn more.

What Exactly is an MSE Wall?

MSE stands for mechanically stabilized earth and refers to the materials and methods used to build MSE walls in Aurora. In order to better understand these modern marvels, let’s break the term down. 

  • Mechanically 

MSE walls rely largely on using natural, earthen materials for strength and retention. However, it’s only because of the mechanical portion of the wall that it does any good. Otherwise, you’ll just have a giant pile of dirt and rock that’s prone to give way at any moment. 

The “mechanically” in MSE refers to the materials and methods used to keep the wall in place. In most cases, this includes using wire-framed mesh, concrete, and other materials for the MSE wall facing and foundation. These materials are strategically installed to provide maximum strength and retention. 

  • Stabilized 

The stabilized in MSE refers to the fact that the facing and materials aren’t just thrown together willy-nilly. Instead, the process starts with a foundation, soil reinforcement, and backfill and continues by stabilizing them together using the aforementioned concrete pillars, rocks, or mesh. Stabilization also refers to the fact that the foundation of MSE walls is solid, compact, and level and often consists of poured concrete. 

  • Earth 

Finally, arguably, the most important component of an Aurora MSE wall is the earthen materials you use as backfill and reinforcement. In most cases, these materials include soil, rocks, and any other materials found in the nearby area. When adequate amounts of material aren’t available, they are brought in on dump trucks. 

How Are MSE Retaining Walls Built?

One of the things that makes MSE walls so popular and wonderful is their simplistic design. MSE walls consist of multiple layers of earthen materials and stabilizers that are interwoven together. Here’s how the process works: 

  1. A foundation is poured. 
  2. Choose the soil and backfill to use as earthen materials. 
  3. Ensure the backfill is adequate on the opposite side of the facing. 
  4. Pour the earthen materials into place. 
  5. Place the facing on the front of the MSE wall. 

Because of the materials used in MSE walls, they are commonly used as retaining walls for highways, bridges, bodies of water, hills, and more. 

MSE Walls in Aurora, CO

While an MSE wall sounds simple and straightforward, it’s essential to hire an experienced contractor for the job. Any little mistake during the construction can lead to a faulty wall that will crumble at the first sign of trouble. To keep this from happening, reach out to Slaton Brothers for the best and longest-lasting MSE retaining walls in Colorado. Call (303) 806-8160 today.

Scroll to Top