Winter has arrived! This last month has seen a great deal of rain and even snow, however, we’ve continued working through the elements. This time of year, we try and focus on hardscaping projects, due to these conditions. One of these projects we’ve been working diligently on took place in Mechanicsburg. The project called for construction of a 100-foot-long retaining wall along the rear of the homeowner’s property. In the homeowner’s backyard, there was a steep drop off, and this area contained an old wooden fence, along with some small trees and shrubs. First, we had to clear the area to prepare for excavation. We removed the fence and shrubbery and disposed of the material through a wood chipper and hauled off site. Once this was completed, we could begin the excavation process. First, we had to create a shelf within the slope, so we could get the machine down the hill and remove soil from the area of the retaining wall. Once this was completed, we could then dig to the appropriate grade for the retaining wall. After the area was dug to grade and compacted, we then begun laying 2A modified stone and stone dust on top, so we could lay the base course of the retaining wall. For this project, we used Cornerstone block in a coastal tan color. The base course is the most important to have exactly level because it serves as the foundation of the wall. After the second course was laid, we could then install a pipe behind the wall, to help for drainage purposes. Also, we could begin laying geogrid, so that it would help stabilize the retaining wall. After each course of block was laid, we could backfill with 2B stone and then tamp the area with a plate compactor. To complete this job, we must install the caps for the retaining wall and complete some grading around the wall before we can restore the lawn.
During this time, we also completed another retaining wall like the one mentioned above, in Hummelstown. We used the same process as above. One of the differences in this project, was the addition of rip rap at the base of the wall. There was an existing drainage pipe, where water flowed, so we excavated a four-foot-wide area the length of the back yard. For this retaining wall, we used Cornerstone block in a gray color. Here’s a look at the project.