In 2015, the Louisville Sports Authority realized the BMX track at the Derby City facility did not meet current requirements. For the facility to maintain its status as a premier BMX race track, renovations had to be done before the Labor Day 2016 race they were slated to host. Unlike other sports venues, no BMX track is the same. The length and complexity of each course is completely different, so there was no “one size fits all” solution.

This project presented several engineering challenges that complicated design and construction. Large precast Redi-Rock retaining wall blocks were chosen as the best option for the five proposed retaining walls. Other retaining wall technologies had been considered for use on the project, but each system was ultimately rejected based upon concerns about cost, constructability and long-term performance. The maximum wall height for this project was 30 feet and required 90 degree corners with no horizontal set back.

“From a Redi-Rock standpoint, this project had it all. We had to use 60 inch and 48 inch blocks, large batter walls, gravity walls, and positive connection walls. Construction was a challenge because we had to maneuver and build in such a small space. We had to be careful not to disrupt any of the electrical systems for the tracks,” said Irvin Vittitow of Redi-Rock of Kentuckiana.

Tiered wall structures were required for the staircases leading to the ramps and had to be designed to bear in a high plasticity clay soil with marginal shear strength. This made global stability the controlling failure mode of the wall design and the global stability analysis complicated. But then again, we always love a project with a good challenge!

To read more about Derby City and their BMX track, click here.