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Retaining Wall Engineering

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Welded Wire Walls

The design and recommendation for welded wire walls are primarily through our design support for the Hilfiker Retaining Wall system, and the Welded Wire Wall. For sites with fill conditions, this can be the most economical and adaptable choice for a retaining wall. The wall consists of using welded wire mats to reinforce the soil, providing the tensile strength to make the compacted soil into a stable structure. The face of the wall can be designed as battered or near vertical. The face treatment can be left exposed, vegetated, or covered with a concrete skin or covered with shotcrete. This is a proprietary wall system where Hilfiker was the first manufacturer to incorporate the wall face and soil reinforcing mechanism as one unit. The reinforcement mats are self supporting and are ready to backfill once in place. Other systems may require extra external bracing or internal supports. The use of lightweight welded wire wall components requires a minimum of labor and equipment for installation.

Soil Nail Walls

The design and recommendation for a soil nail wall will likely be for the Spiralnail system provided by Hilfiker Retaining Walls. Our studies have shown that this wall system is economically far superior to the traditional soil nail wall construction. Because the Spiralnail is driven directly into the earth, it can be used in a wide array of situations that conventional soil nailing methods cannot. The Spiralnail system is a soil reinforcement method for use on retaining walls, stabilizing steep slopes, roadway widening, guardrail support, roadway sub-drainage, and foundation improvement. Spiralnail is compatible with a variety of Hilfiker wall facing systems. It can be used with quick build welded wire facing, gabion facing, "Spider" slope face reinforcement, and pre-cast concrete facing methods. Spiralnails can be used to form a tieback for cast in place or precast panels to build a wall. Spiralnails can be used as effective soil drains. Additional uses include for repair or reinforce existing walls, for support temporary walls and for construction shoring where conventional soil nailing would not be time or cost effective.

Soldier Pile Walls

In locations where a soil nail wall or a standard cantilever wall cannot be recommended, a soldier pile wall will be the next most economical solution, and can also provide some preferable aesthetics. The use of precast piles and lagging panels can also serve as an aesthetically pleasing solution that can hybrid as a noise wall. Other traditional pile and lagging systems can be evaluated.

Cantilever Walls

The cantilever retaining wall is probably the most common type of wall constructed. It can be used in a fill or cut condition and is primarily constructed from reinforced concrete. More recently the use of this wall type is recommended only after other more economical solutions have been exhausted. The wall can accommodate many different aesthetic finishes which can help make this wall type the preferred choice.


Block Walls

The design and recommendation for block walls are generally in direct competition with the welded wire wall and the cantilever wall types. The block wall, which is also a proprietary product, is primarily selected for walls that are short in height or where aesthetics are preferred over other wall selections. This wall system is very economical for many types of applications.

Noise Walls

Noise walls are constructed to mitigate sound that is generated from traffic. Typically, the walls are erected in areas near parks and adjacent to residential homes. The walls can range in height from 6 to 20 feet, and are typically 12 to 15 feet tall. Generally, walls are constructed from precast concrete elements similar to a soldier pile wall, but can also be constructed from reinforced masonry, or from sustainable Bio-Composites that can be seeded as a thick hedge.