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Old 11-15-2011, 10:26 PM   #16
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A poured cantilever reinforced concrete wall is more costly than a dry stack segmental wall in almost every place in the world if the site will accept one. - I have seen 40' high with no steel reinforcement, mortar, grout or poured footings along freeways/international highways. It is a question of the space between the wall and the rock and if the rock can support lateral loads - must be engineered.

edit: Any high wall is pricey, but some systems work better especially for varying heights or curves.

Dick


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Old 11-16-2011, 07:07 AM   #17
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"sdster", you really think a poured wall might be cheaper than "cinder block"?

tnx,
There is less labor involved in forming and pouring a solid wall than fitting and "mortaring" it together with blocks. A good concrete person can offer control of colorants and even stamped or formed in surface texture or pattern.

I would at least get some estimates. And if you are planning to replace all the railway ties I see in the pic? I should think forming and pouring would save you quite a bit over block work.

Obviously you are going to need some rebar in either situation. Make sure that is in the bids.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:17 PM   #18
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You know I came back to this post later today. You have such a gorgeous piece of land. Let's see the back of the house. I remember this wonderful interview Barbara Walter's did with Steve Martin years ago.

Seriously. Most people are afraid of landscape architects (or architects in general) because only the really rich can afford them? What total nonsense. Architects, next to pharmacists, commit suicide more than any other professions because nobody thinks they dare call an architect. Pharmacist suicide must be attributed to something else. So call one. Keep them from jumping over the edge.

And like good accountants, good landscape architects should pay for themselves. Trust me. Call one to figure all this out for you. You will have a really great experience. I always do. And then rather than pay them, I beat there heads in with a shovel and bury them.

Yes, all of them have coupon books for $10 off at a box store. I do not think so. What if, just what if, they had other sources and contractors to match at the same price point?

http://www.asla.org/

Just saying you might ask around. Or I guess you could do the yellow pages on your own. I know, this is DIY site. So tar feather drag and hang me. You have a complex situation the more I look at it beyond retaining things and replacing rr ties.

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Old 11-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #19
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I have seen 40' high with no steel reinforcement, mortar, grout or poured footings along freeways/international highways.
Wow. Too cool!Hope you were moving at a highspeed. I almost got nailed by natural rock with no poured fittings, mortar or grout twice in my life.

Once in Colorado and once in California.

The road in Colorado was closed for a time---three days as I remember---just after I passed. The rock that came loose with whatever tremor in California was only twice the size of the Sunbeam Alpine I had just restored. It hit the pavement just behind me, bounced, and landed in the yard of some guy's cattle yard. The cows just looked at it as another daily occurence so I drove on.

I say, just to test fate, we build 40 foot walls without steel reinforcement all over the World again. It is all over for us in a month you know. Aztec/Inca calendar and all.

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Old 11-16-2011, 08:05 PM   #20
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The walls I referred were designed by professionals and very often by DOTs using proven systems.

The block are segmental retaining wall (SRWs) for the uniformed. They are currently the most common product for retaining walls in the U.S. they system came to the U.S. from foreign companies that had decades of experience. Obviously, the higher walls are professionally designed, as are rigid reinforced concrete wall. With an SRW, no concrete footing is used or allowed and the same applies to rebar, mortar and grout. This is a very important advantage since the logistics of getting these materials to a high wall on a difficult to access site.

The most impressive installation was along a 20 mile stretch of freeway in spain. The highest wall was only 300' feet long, but the adjacent segments were 5 to about 30' depending on the grade and cuts. - This was built 12 years ago and almost every segment had inside or outside corners, or both. There also some high SRW walls in the U.S. The 4 major product licensors in the U.S. were organized in the 1980s and hundreds of producer licensees around the world making similar systems that are engineered almost identically by a licensed engineer working with a soils engineer.

Wake up and look around!

Dick
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #21
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Don't go there. What you forget to mention is the blocks in those wall were not square edged like here at box stores. They interlocked. And they did have steel.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:46 PM   #22
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What you see in a box store are usually just DIY junior(or less), smaller units for decorative landscaping. They usually have smooth bottoms, but some may have lips for shear resistance and some box stores do carry the real SRW units (40-85#) with beveled sides for corners. Again, for the hard-nosed, no SRW units should not and cannot be used with steel or mortar or concrete footings.

A Certified SRW would never use steel,mortar or grout for risk of losing his certification and of course all guarantees are voided. There are some unknowing producers (generally in the East) that make knock-offs, but do not understand are so stupid to suggest the use of steel and grout because they do not understand the system is to make a wall that has some "flex" to handle weather cycles and frost heaving.

I personally visited the walls I referred to and saw the production and then met with the designers.

I think in the Chicago area there are at least 3 of the 4 major systems (Allan Block, Anchor Wall Systems, Keystone and Versalok) available from different local producers that sell landscape to the box stores and real SRWs to contractors.

Dick
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:47 PM   #23
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Don't go there. What you forget to mention is the blocks in those wall were not square edged like here at box stores. They interlocked. And they did have steel.
The interlocking ones are also available for residential use and many of the big box stores carry them. Steel is not required until they exceed about 10 feet, the manufacturer's websites give clear details on this. The steel is only there to hold it back into the face of the wall behind it. They're certainly the easiest and strongest way to build a retaining wall at a reasonable price.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:26 AM   #24
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The interlocking ones are also available for residential use and many of the big box stores carry them. Steel is not required until they exceed about 10 feet, the manufacturer's websites give clear details on this. The steel is only there to hold it back into the face of the wall behind it. They're certainly the easiest and strongest way to build a retaining wall at a reasonable price.
Nonsense.

That sort of wall may not fail in total and only cause a partial failure. You willing to park your Mercedes anywhere near it? Your construction suggestion cannot survive even calculated dead, let along live shifting loads. Add some water for fun.

Last edited by user1007; 11-17-2011 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:05 PM   #25
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You willing to park your Mercedes anywhere near it? Your construction suggestion cannot survive even calculated dead, let along live shifting loads. Add some water for fun.
I certainly would be willing to do that! You obviously are not familiar with this type of wall based on your comments. Look at some of the websites of the suppliers mentioned above to familiarize yourself with the technology!
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:19 PM   #26
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so I guess I should employ a "lanscape architect" since this has to be done "right". wouldn't want my wall collapsing! (especially if I was around the top with my "Mercedes )

tnx,

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