As the only remaining structure part of the original construction of the maintenance building/barn at the Sheppard Pratt health facility in Towson, Maryland, the retaining wall was observed to have areas of significant deterioration. With repairs not feasible due to the level of deterioration, Sheppard Pratt enlisted Kleinfelder to perform an investigation and design a new retaining wall.
The existing wall spanned 450 feet and varied from two to ten feet in height. The wall was once the foundation of the original barn building that was built prior to 1950. A new maintenance building had since been built, and it was connected to the access roadway by two steel and concrete framed walkways.
To better understand the subsurface conditions, Kleinfelder performed soil borings and test pits. This geotechnical investigation revealed very dense sands, which were suitable as a load-bearing material.
Kleinfelder also performed a topographic survey as part of collecting the necessary information for this project. This information was used to prepare erosion and sediment control plans, a grading plan, and utility plans for permitting and construction purposes.
A new, reinforced concrete cantilever retaining wall was designed to wrap around the maintenance building similar to the existing wall. The new retaining wall was designed to resist the ten-foot embankment plus the weight of traffic along the high side of the wall. The exposed face of the wall was adorned with adhered manufactured stone veneer to create visual interest.
Areas of the walls not exposed to public view were treated with a textured, acrylic, breathable coating system. The two walkway bridges were also replaced as part of the project. The walkways were designed to support a 250 PSF live load (or approximately the weight of a fully loaded forklift).
One of the challenges of this project was the need to keep the adjacent roadway open to traffic during construction as it served the main hospital. To overcome this, the new wall was built a few feet inside the existing wall, allowing one lane of traffic to remain open at all times.
The new retaining wall at Sheppard Pratt’s maintenance building will serve the site for years to come. By combining modern technologies and materials with manufactured stone veneer, Kleinfelder created a safer, more stable wall and roadway while also addressing the aesthetics of the project.
Sheppard Pratt Health System