Retaining Wall Goes Downtown

July 1, 2014
Growing Ohio township uses retaining walls to help develop its downtown area

Between 1990 and 2010, the population of West Chester Township in Ohio nearly doubled in size. Because the township had no real downtown area, developers started brainstorming a planned downtown area. The plans involved creating a central gathering place for the township, including a square overlooking a storm water pond. Developers were faced with the challenge of making this retention pond a functional yet attractive focal point for the development.

The project’s plans included lining the pond’s banks with riprap, but some areas needed more reinforcement to deal with the rise and fall of the water as well as freeze-thaw cycles.

“The No. 1 reason Redi-Rock was chosen for this project was aesthetics. The second reason was durability. With the freeze-thaw cycle here in Ohio and the water environment, we just had to have a solid block,” said project engineer Joe Kowalski, P.E.

The cobblestone large block retaining walls tied in with the aesthetics of the development. Though each block has nearly 6 ft of face, the texture gives the appearance of six smaller blocks. This allowed developers to achieve the look of a professional landscape wall with the efficient installation of a large block system.

Another benefit of using a large block system for this project was that the retaining walls did not require geogrid or tiebacks. Redi-Rock gravity walls reduce excavation, minimizing installation time and costs. Each 41-in. gravity block weighs 2,351 lb and utilizes a knob-and-groove technology, so the entire retaining wall structure is interlocked. 

At completion, this 7,000-sq-ft wall stood 10.5 ft tall with 1.5 to 3 ft buried.