Officine Maccaferri


Mpumalanga road protected from falling rock


Our environmentally friendly Terramesh® System is backfilled with on-site materials

Our environmentally friendly Terramesh® System which provides a retaining structure in Mpumalanga along the N11 to Groblersdal, is backfilled with crushed rocks blasted from the slope being retained.

A road rehabilitation scheme has been carried out in Mpumalanga, along a large stretch of the N11 to Groblersdal. On selected sections of the road, the toe of the mountain was blasted to achieve the required carriageway widening.

The blasting resulted in an unstable rock face, which was susceptible to erosion and the dislocation of rocks was a safety hazard for road users.

To address the problem, an approximately 200m long and 7m high retaining structure was built using our Terramesh® System, instead of a traditional concrete retaining wall. This provided a more environmentally friendly solution.

Our Terramesh® System is a versatile modular system used for soil reinforcement such as mechanically stabilised earth walls and slopes. The crushed rocks blasted from the mountain were classified as suitable for use as structural backfill; this use of on-site materials saved on the import of new materials. Not only did this reduce the quarrying of backfill, but also the environmental impact and safety within the local community of the vehicles delivering these aggregates.

A sub-soil drainage system was installed at the toe of the cut rock face to capture any seepage from it. The sub-soil drainage comprised 19mm stones and two perforated pipes, all covered with a geotextile. The drainage geocomposite was connected to the sub-soil drain.

Our solution offered further additional benefits: our Terramesh® System is easy to install and does not require specific labour; accordingly, local workers were employed during the construction of the wall. Moreover, the colour of the rocks within the Terramesh® units blended in well with the surroundings giving it an aesthetically pleasing finish.

For more information, please download our Case History.

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