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Retaining Walls

Here's the wall in all it's glory. The lot preparation was originally slated to be 4 - 6 weeks. Now it's looking more like 10 - 12 weeks. Oops.

Someone joked the other day about how `we hope it's done this century.' Good thing we didn't say that when we purchased the lot 3 years ago!

Some details:

North wall
40' long, the footing is 5' wide. Built entirely of concrete brick (16'' long, 8'' high). This is mainly to hold the storm drain which runs along the north side of the property. It extends an existing wall.
It can be seen in the upper-left corner of the picture on the home page.
East wall
40-50' long, 5' wide footing. This is built in stages. The bottom 1-2' is poured concrete. This is topped with 40'' of wide concrete block which is then topped with 40'' of a narrow concrete block (about 2'' narrower than the wide).
On the home page, it is the wall dead ahead with the gray house behind it.
South wall
140' long, 5' wide footing, built just like the east wall except the top slopes down which cannot be seen in any of the pictures. When I get a good picture of it, I'll post it. At it's lowest, it's only about 6'', at it's highest it's 5'6''. It's much more impressive from the bottom of the ditch since that adds about 4'.
That bit in the south-east corner is a manhole described below. It's 4'x4'x8' deep.

Here we go:
Here's all the rebar. There's a lot of it! Notice how we already have a finished driveway approach without a driveway? Odd, no? Public works insisted that if we didn't put one in two years ago they were going to do it and charge us, so we did it. They were convinced all water and drainage problems would be solved with a finished driveway approach. Surprise!
This is some of the materials being used.
Alex, dirt and materials. I'll be throwing in kid pictures once in awhile.
The footing.
Half the wall is done. The wall is huge and had to be done in three parts: the footing and lower foot or so were poured and given some time to come to strength. Then a larger cement block wall was built (another four feet or so). Finally, a smaller cement block wall. I don't know why, but I was really amazed that they simply built scaffolding to finish the wall. I'd never think to do that. Yet another reason someone else is building this. The distance from the metal supports to the bottom of the wall is about 4'.
This is an attempt at a better view of the wall. The video camera only gets it from head on so one cannot really grasp the height or angle at which the wall is being built. I'll find better pictures of this when I have the chance
I don't know if I've mentioned the manhole. Here is the beginning of it. The soil engineer's original soils report, for some truly bizarre reason, suggested that we be responsible for all water 3' below existing grade. The final grade is 5' or so above the initial (then existing) grade, so the manhole will be 8' deep with a pump at the bottom. Before the wall is backfilled, drainpipes will be run along the length of the driveway (the driveway parallels the fence you see in the back of this picture) to the manhole where a pump will bring the water straight up to the driveway to run west to the street.

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