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Old 04-20-2006, 10:07 PM
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questn Retaining Wall Questions

Hi everybody,

I need some advice. I've built many retaining walls in my time but today I realized I've never REPLACED a wall, they were always in new situations. So now I'm thinking of taking a job like this:
Sorry I don't have pictures.

There is an existing 150' x 3 1/2' foot old concrete wall. The cement has turned to dust in some places, caved in in others and is no longer functioning. There are several old lilacs on the neighbors property above the wall and their root's have bumped a few foot long chunks off the top here and there.

There are also 15-20 fairly substantial lilacs/small trees in close proximity to the wall on the lower part that belongs to our client.

The client wants to replace it with an Inter-Lok product and hopes to save as much of the plant life as possible.

Here are my questions:

Could I just put the wall in front of the old one a foot or so and backfill?

If I were to remove the old wall to try and save a lot of the plant life, how could I best approach the demo work without disturbing the soil behind it?

Could I use a gas saw to cut the wall out in small sections (assuming a jackhammer would be too much)?

I really want this job because the client is really cool and may do a bunch more stuff too.

Hoping you guys can help,

Thanks a lot,
Matt
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:29 AM
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Is moving the wall outward an option? If not, you'll have to dig out whatever trees you want to save and stock them in a pile of woodchips and keep moist. Lilacs are blooming so try and wait until the new growth hardens up. Sounds like the existing wall will bust up pretty easy, so try taking a small loader with forks to it, it might just break up in nice sections, load into truck, and haul away. Then just follow what you've done in the past for a 3.5' tall wall. Good luck!!
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:30 AM
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I would definately take the existing wall out.
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Old 04-23-2006, 05:29 AM
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Leave the Wall the exsisting root system from the lilacs is holding it all in place. a 3 foot wall doesn't have a whole lot of force behind it. Just make sure your base is good and backfill with stone for drainage. I usally just bust the top 6" or so off to make for a nice grade.
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Old 04-23-2006, 04:10 PM
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I recommend removing the old wall. As it sounds, you are gonna be cramped for space anyways. Take out the old wall and then you will have plenty of room to put in the new wall. The new wall is going to have alot more drainage capabilities than the old concrete wall, so you want to be able to utilize that. As for demolition of the old wall, do whatever it takes. Cutting it in chunks sounds like a good way to do it. Then you can get the pieces into managable sizes. I guess what I am trying to say is that I would sleep better myself if I took that old wall out, knowing that it is one less variable that can cause potential failure in the new wall. I know it is only 3.5 feet, but you don't want to take that chance.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:05 PM
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Thanks for the input. It seems like we will take the wall out. I think I'll sleep better that way too, as one of you put it.
Again thanks. I'll let you know how it goes.

Gracias,
Matt
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