Cooks Valley Road
|Retaining Wall Saves Time, Money and Reduces Traffic|
Like many cities across the U.S., Kingsport, Tennessee is in the midst of suburban expansion and experiencing many of the challenges that growth brings. To alleviate traffic in a particularly busy outlying residential area, the municipality launched a construction project to widen Cooks Valley Road.
One quarter-mile section of the road called for the construction of a retaining wall built into the yard of a homeowner just behind the sidewalk that bordered the widened street. The original specifications for the wall proposed the use of a competitive wall system. Due to the fact that hard rock lay just below the surface of the wall, using this system meant that the city of Kingsport would need to exercise eminent domain, seize property from the owners and blast away the rock to provide enough room to install the geo grid, which would provide strength to the wall. Belgard® provided another solution.
Belgard’s Mega-Tandem™ 3-in1 Wall System was proposed as an alternative segmental retaining wall system to save cost without reducing quality. The Belgard system’s advantages over the originally specified competitive material were numerous. First, Mega-Tandem™ eliminated the geo grid, but still provided the necessary wall strength. Additional cost savings were highlighted from ease of installation. The previously specified material came in the form of 2,800 lb. concrete blocks that required the daily use of a track hoe throughout the installation process. Mega-Tandem™ can be installed by a team of only three to four with much smaller, compact equipment. In addition, Mega-Tandem™’s smaller size allowed a significant reduction of the number of tractor-trailers needed to deliver the product into an already congested area.
Mega-Tandem™ provides the natural appearance of chiseled stone that complements any landscape. Great for use in a wide range of commercial hardscape projects, the innovative, versatile system can be used to create attractive, curved or straight retaining and freestanding landscape walls. Its innovative design system creates sturdy walls and makes work easier. In addition, Mega-Tandem™’s long-term durability with an 8,500-PSI compression strength rating makes it ideal for northern climates with harsh freeze/thaw cycles.
“We actually had three choices of materials for the wall,” stated Nathan Jackson, President of Jackson Jones Construction. “Since the project entailed cutting into the property, the city consulted with the homeowner in regard to the final selection. When you combine price considerations and the actual look of the wall, I’m not sure there’s a better material out there, especially compared with the big block system. I’ve had so many positive comments about the wall, and both the homeowners and the city are very pleased with it.”