1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Retaining Wall from Hell!

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by GreenMonster, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    This one truly was a nutcraker. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We couldn't have dreamed up a worse combination of weather events.

    Anywho, it was replacemnt of a part block, part timber, part stone retaining wall across two properties. It is on a lake, so we had to wait until draw-down, which starts on Columbus day. Of course, we had an extremely wet fall, so the water was much higher than it typically is that time of year, and we didn't get started until Nov. 1

    The portion of wall where we started is the beach that curves in away from the lake, so even though the water was still against portions of the wall, we went in and started on this section. Almost immediatly upon commencement of excavation, I ran into something really hard. As I unearthed it, we realized it was a huge piece of concrete. We would later find out, from the neighbor, that there was a 6' concrete wall poured in 1975. In the spring of 1978, it fell over. Previous owners built the new walls right in front or, or on top of these pieces.

    In order to dig deep enough for base, and to stay as exactly as humanly possible on the existing footprint (strict state waterfront guideline), the pieces had to come out.

    I'll start with a couple before pics:


  2. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Boy Mark I didn't know you built timber walls! They look much better than that concrete stuff you put up. I was expecting more from this thread to be honest. What are you still writing? Hurry up what is taking so long? Come on I know you're tired after sitting on your butt all day but hurry up and post the dang pics!
    :p :p :p
  3. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    When I went over to the other side of the beach area, we found that the concrete pieces covered the entire beach area, about 30'.

    So, it became obvious that we would need some bigger equipment to get this stuff out of here. I had an excavation guy come in and give me a price. by the time we had decided to use him, a day or so later, he had broken the thumb on his machine and couldn't do it. I COULD NOT FIND ANOTHER LARGE EXCAVATOR TO SAVE MY LIFE! So I call Bobcat Thursday nite to see if they have an excavator to rent. One to break the concrete, on to pick out the pieces. Ok, just want to make sure the other excavation guy I found couldn't do it. 1st thing friday morning, other excavation guys says he can't. Call Bobcat at 8:30am Friday morning, and the rental is gone! :realmad: So on Friday, I go to Bobcat, rent a concrete breaker for my 331. Didn't fit. OBTW, Bobcat is closed all weekend. So I called my father-in-law, he brought over his bulldozer, and we cut parallel to the wall, and pulled out the concrete.

    Homeowner says the pieces are probably only behind the beach. WRONG AGAIN! Pieces went all the way to the end of the wall. About 110' total.

    Pic 1 shows a piece right behind the wall.
    Pic 2 gives you a pretty good idea how big these were. Usually, we would get under them with the bucket, and pick them up until the rebar snapped.
    Pic 3 shows you how big they really are, in relation to a 7K lb mini x



  4. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702


    Of course, we gotta get em outta there too. EAch piece we chained and pulled out with Kattie the Dozer (that's what the kids always called the 450 growing up), and flipped em up above the beach. Big pieces on the log truck, small pieces in the one ton dump.



  5. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Mark seriously that was rude! Next time spell it NE Grows please so we don't read this as one word!
  6. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Seriously those are some big pieces. I'm glad it was you and not me running into those. The clients cool with the extra bill? What was the additional cost if you don't mind my asking to remove those?
  7. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    I think were all in agreement that were glad it was Mark and not us running into that mess....;)

    I can't wait to see the brawl at NE Grows!!!

    (I'M going all three days Mark I will try to give you a call)
  8. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    Mark, the customer wasn't thrilled, as a matter of fact, the more I dealt with this guy, the more he came across as a cheapo. The extra excavation and removal/disposal cost them a little over $4k. Took myself & father-in-law just over a day. We were able to dump them for free about 10 min up the road.
  9. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    Hey Erik,

    I'm hoping to go down for two days. I just have to look at the seminars and see which days have the most I'm interested in. You staying somewhere down there? Think I'm gonna get a room somewhere.

    I have more pics coming... just haven't been on in a few days.
  10. TerraVenture

    TerraVenture LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    I had a similiar problem with buried concrete on a job I did two years ago. It was an old farm that somebody dumped a crap load own old concrete. I spent about four days digging holes and burying it in the back yard. Luckily it wasn't as big as the pieces you found Mark. Finding buried junk is one of the interesting parts of this job. I have found many abandoned water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, and electrical lines luckily I haven't hit any live lines yet. I have heard horror stories from relatives of mine in the heavy construction industry that have hit mis marked gas, and fiber optic lines.

Share This Page