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Huge Retaining Wall Options


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By Ken on 4/8/2004


I have a hillside lot and will need to put in a few retaining walls that are up to 30 feet high. I was wondering if anyone has had to deal with walls this high and what options I have to keep the cost low. I have heard that shotcrete can be used, but I don't know how much of a savings it offers, and what the pro and cons of it are.
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By Paul on 5/6/2004


Ken, I cant offer much in advice on comparative cost options to a 30ft high embankment. I can however offer experience in saying that shotcrete is near premium "stabilization" (if thats all you are seeking). I am a shotcretor(not sub), projected costs will depend on volume of concrete needed, chances are a work platform will be needed(which the sub will add to the quote + his % markup, as well as crew and labor time). If the access to the site is tight, expect alot of preperation. If the site is close to anything at all except open land, alot of protection will be required for coverage because of shotcrete overspray. The closer the crew can get to the job, the quicker it will take to complete. Oxides are also available for that "blend" look to the surrounds if you wanted it. As far as comparative costs go, it is a more than affordable option. Keep in mind the potential if it were to give way after using an alternative. Keystone blocks look great but they will take an eternity to lay them 30ft high, irrigate, backfill and not forgetting hands on work barrowing them in(if thats the case!. best of luck, hope this helps in your choice.
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By Ken on 5/6/2004


Thanks for the info Paul. My lot is in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA. Are you located in my area?
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By Paul on 5/6/2004


No Ken, I am re-locating to Nevada from Ohio. Im about to go through the whole building phase, hence my interest in this site!. If you were to give me some more info on your work area: 1. Will the excavation be a vertical wall or layed back at approx angle? 2. Is there easy access and whats behind? 3. keep in mind that shotcrete 99.9% of the time requires some mesh or re-bar 4. Do you want the work finished....floated, or gun(straight out of the nozzel? I cant stess enough that it may save alot of heartache in the future if the area was to give way to heavy rains, if you decide alternates. Trust me its a mess you can do without and you'll be glad you found the extra money. Work out your 30ft x width x approx 2" thick minimum and that will give you minimum volume(the more vertical the wall the more thickness you will need, (30ft high is alot of earth to hold back). Add about 10% for line/hopper concrete (they dont use every drop!). Call your local concrete supplier and ask for the price on shotcrete/yard. That will give you a ball park figure on what to expect for concrete alone. If the job is small and hassle free the sub will probably charge you hourly. Also being near summer, let the crew know you'll have a case of beer waiting for them on completion. If they see that cooler on ice you'll get a top job. GL
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By Todd in Los Angeles, CA on 10/14/2004


Ken,
Who did you use for your grading and excavation?
Todd
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By Ken on 10/14/2004


Todd, I haven't started the project yet. Still waiting for permits.
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By Frank in San Pedro, CA on 10/15/2004


I'm in the process of working with a client that is looking at an upslope lot in Sherman Oaks and I am talking to a contractor to maybe do the grading, drive way , etc. We are supposed to meet in the next day or so and look at the lot and make an estimate. I'll give an update as soon as I have more info.

Frank


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By Robert in Mission Viejo, CA on 10/18/2004


So Cal References: Contractors & Consultants

I am beginning a new O-B project and would greatly appreciate referrences from anybody who has found good subs or consultants in the LA area. I am sure that other O-Bs could benefit from these referrals too (as well as the subs). Thanks in advance!


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By Frank in San Pedro, CA on 10/22/2004


Here is some info on Shortcrete for retaining walls that Cal Trans used.

www.forester.net/ec_009_profile_walls.html

Frank


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