Drainage Design Blog

Bridge Retaining Wall Drainage Restoration I-44 Missouri

Restoring effective drainage to a concrete retaining wall that was showing signs of failure on I-44

Drainage Dillema

In Webster Groves, Missouri, a critical infrastructure project was undertaken by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) on the I-44 corridor. A concrete retaining wall, supporting I-44 and adjacent to the Berry Road off-ramp, exhibited serious signs of structural failure. Visible cracking, joint separation, and shifting within the wall indicated imminent safety risks. A key issue identified was the inadequate drainage behind the wall, exacerbated by the wall’s crucial role in supporting the heavily trafficked I-44 and adapting to evolving traffic demands.


Addressing these severe challenges, MoDOT implemented a strategic solution to reinforce the retaining wall and enhance its drainage capabilities. The project involved the installation of 20 units of the JET Filter, each with a robust 4-inch diameter open-end ASTM 316/316L Stainless Steel Housing. These filters were critical in providing effective drainage relief, essential for alleviating the hydrostatic pressure caused by accumulating precipitation behind the wall.

To facilitate this I Installation, cranes were employed to position the filters approximately 20 feet above the ground on the retaining wall. This precise placement was crucial for optimal performance and directly addressed the drainage issues contributing to the wall’s deterioration. Following installation, the functionality of the weep hole units was meticulously monitored using water tracking dye, ensuring they were effectively managing the hydrostatic pressure and improving the wall’s structural integrity.

The successful completion of this project not only resolved the immediate issues of the retaining wall supporting I-44 but also demonstrated MoDOT’s commitment to ensuring the longevity and safety of vital transportation infrastructure. This initiative set a benchmark for addressing similar structural challenges in the region, particularly emphasizing the importance of efficient drainage systems in supporting large-scale transportation structures.

At a Glance

Project Location: Williamsburg, VA

Contractor: Rob Daniels Builder

  • Concrete retaining wall for I-44 was showing signs of failure due to ineffective drainage

  • 20 units of 4” diameter open-end ASTM 316/316L Stainless Steel Housing

Street View: https://bit.ly/3YQXUpg

Check out the Video

Product Used