Retaining walls help connect four major parks in Louisville area

Case Studies
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Creating a 21-mile-long park system linking four major parks is no small task. But that’s just what 21st Century Parks set out to do in the Louisville area. Linking the parks required construction of several new roadways, and the significant grade changes on-site required extensive retaining walls to make it happen.


Curt Derichs, P.E., of Civil Design Professionals, designed Phase 1 of the project and said: “With the wall heights that were proposed on-site, a gravity structure was simply not feasible for the entire wall and we needed to look at reinforcement. To save on backfill materials and geogrid, we decided to make the wall a gravity wall for all sections possible,”


Redi-Rock gravity and PC blocks combined to create an efficient, custom solution for the park. The first phase included a total of four retaining walls encompassing just over 7,000 sq ft.


The next retaining-wall phase of the Parklands project required three separate retaining walls, totaling 21,000 sq ft. To keep bikers out of traffic at this site, the design included a tunnel, switchbacks, and vertical retaining walls to make the whole design fit together properly.


Clint Hines, principal of JC Hines & Associates LLC, designed phase 3A of the Parklands project, including the 41-ft-tall Redi-Rock Positive Connection system wall that was completed in January 2013.


"The high efficiency really made it possible to design tiered walls with those loads at that height," Hines said. "Why was the system necessary? The short answer is that it was AASHTO design and tall tiered walls. It would be hard to make it work with anything else."


Some unique challenges faced the design team, including tall back-to-back walls, soft soil, vertical walls faces, and large pipe penetrations. This phase is now complete, and the Parklands couldn’t be happier with how the project turned out.


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