In September 2013, the Kansas Department of Transportation accepted bids for the K-10 South Lawrence Trafficway Project. Planned as a three-year phased construction project and budgeted at nearly $130 million, the plans for the project called for the relocation and reconstruction of a portion of 31st Street between Haskell Avenue and O’Connel Road within the city limits of Lawrence, Kansas.
Two retaining walls were necessary to complete the widening of the proposed section of new roadway. However, the new project limits would require the taking of private property along 31st Street. Minimizing the amount of private land forfeited to the project was a primary concern for both the State and the local residents.
Given the geometric constraints, gravity retaining walls constructed with large, wet-cast precast modular block units were selected as the preferred technology. JC Hines & Associates designed two Redi-Rock retaining walls totaling 7,592 square feet with final design heights of up to 14 feet to meet the project requirements. Founded directly in the weathered sandstone, the Redi-Rock walls were designed to support the re-compacted clay fill without the use of geosynthetic soil reinforcement or other external anchors. The result was a highly effective and attractive retaining wall solution that minimized the negative impact of a large infrastructure improvement project on the local community.