Work Nears Completion on FedEx® Ground Distribution Hub

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — One of the largest construction projects currently underway in the state of Connecticut, work nears completion of the new FedEx® Ground distribution hub in Middletown, Middlesex County, that will include over 310,000 square feet of segmental retaining wall block built to a maximum height of 60 feet—making it one of the largest and tallest SRW projects in North America.

“Due to the size, complex installation and overall scope of the wall project, we knew right from the start it would have to be a collaborative effort by all to be a success story,” said Chip George, Commercial Sales Developer for Anchor, an Oldcastle® Company, wall materials supplier for the historic project. “The general contractor Manafort Brothers, Terry Chappell’s installation team at Earth Retention Systems, and Anchor are all working hard together to make that happen.”

According to representatives at FedEx, this project, which broke ground in May 2016, is part of a nationwide expansion resulting from the exponential increase in the number of daily packages shipped over the last 10 years.* The 260-acre site is the former location of the Aetna Life Insurance Company headquarters and will house a 508,000-square foot main hub building along with a maintenance garage and salt storage shed.

The project involves an an astounding 1.5 million cubic yards of earth work that required six retaining structures, encompassing over 11,000 linear feet of retaining walls to re-grade, stabilize and optimize the site. The project also called for over 630,000 square yards of geogrid soil reinforcement. Oldcastle worked with the project geotechnical engineers during the design phase to secure Anchor Vertica® wall block with Mirafi® geosynthetic reinforcement as the basis of design for the project.

“The design of these tall and massive walls needed a proven system such as Vertica with Mirafi geogrid reinforcement,” said Scott Vollmer, Market Manager for Oldcastle Architectural’s East region. “Vertica's four-degree batter was another advantage of the system and allowed for optimal site layout.”

Anchor Concrete was selected as the exclusive supplier of the retaining wall and geogrid materials using Anchor's Cranston, Rhode Island, plant to manufacture the wall units. “This selection was based on competitive price, proximity to the project, technical support, manufacturing capabilities, and overall resources to supply such a large project on a tight time frame,” Vollmer said.

As of May 2018, the overall wall project is on schedule to be completed this year with Anchor having shipped approximately 300,000 square feet of block to date.

  • Property Owner: FedEx®
  • Geotechnical Engineer and Retaining Wall Design: Advantage Engineers
  • Civil Engineer: BL Companies
  • Construction Manager: Barton Malow Company
  • General Contractor: Manafort Brothers, Inc.
  • Site Work Contractor: Borggaard Construction Corp.
  • Wall Installation: Earth Retention Systems (ERS)

*Hartford Courant - May 12, 2016

Video credit: eWave Media/Earth Retention Systems