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Birdsboro Materials

High-load-bearing wall where 100-ton trucks unload rock into a railcar-loading hopper

Key Features

Wall Area

​6,000 square feet; 44 feet high


​Birdsboro, Pennsylvania


​Easton Block & Supply
Easton, Pennsylvania

Wall Design Engineer

​Soil Reinforcement Design, Inc.
Woodstock, Georgia

Wall Contractor

​Easton Block Retaining Wall
Skippack, Pennsylvania

Birdsboro Materials
Birdsboro Materials

The Challenge

​The owner of this quarry in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, needed a platform to hold 100-ton trucks dumping into a railroad-car-loading hopper. A steel structure option was rejected due to size, cost and aesthetics. It was too small, too expensive and unattractive. There was also pressure to quickly complete the project during the slower winter months at the quarry.

The Solution

​By using the Landmark retaining wall system in designing a segmental retaining wall (SRW) to support the truck unloading area, the engineer was able to increase the size of the loading facility in an aesthetically pleasing manner. High-strength reinforcement fabrics were more economical to use than traditional polyester, contributing to installation time and cost savings. Using quarry stone as backfill with the Landmark system, the 260-foot-long SRW was built in the winter in 31⁄2 weeks, well before production and shipping began. The project was completed in half the time estimated for a proposed steel structure. The wall was incorporated into the hopper-loading system using a 3-foot concrete upper slab.

The Results

Stone is safely shipped more quickly at the larger out-loading facility, providing ongoing cost savings.

For high performance under extreme loading conditions, the Landmark retaining wall system is a cost-effective option evaluated by HITEC. The Landmark system features a unique mechanical connection, which allows the system to generate extremely high connection values, independent of blocks above the connection. Developed specifically to meet the high standards of the transportation industry, the performance features of the Landmark system make cost-effective design solutions possible using either the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) or the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) design methodology.

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