Retaining Wall Layout and Surveying

How-To Videos, VIDEOS, Surveying
By Joseph Kowalski
Sep 24, 2008 - 5:44:56 PM

After mass excavation and after base cleaning and preparation of the site, you are now ready to "layout" your segmental retaining wall. 

To properly layout your retaining wall you should ensure that:


  • The retaining wall location is clearly marked, painted, or staked on the jobsite in such a way that the survey markers will not be destroyed by construction equipment;
  • There is no doubt about whether the surveyor was locating the "top" or "bottom" of the wall, or the "front" or "back" of the wall block.  Because the wall is battered back, and because the width of the blocks is typically about 1 foot, an error in layout could mean an error of 4 to 5 feet (or more for taller walls!);
  • The location of the wall blocks allows the full geogrid length to be installed.  If not, then either the excavation must be enlarged or the wall face needs to be moved out;
  • The geogrid lengths (and changes in length) are clearly identified to make wall construction easier;
  • You are using the most recent and approved set of engineering plans; and,
  • That everyone is on the "same page" regarding retaining wall stationing.  Standard stationing of retaining walls begins at the LEFT side of the wall (when viewing the wall face), and begins at 0+00.  The numbers increase from left to right.