Aug 20, 2015
The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is a 20-acre education, recreation and cultural arts and worship facility that provides an oasis of green space in urban Grand Rapids, Michigan. With both topographical and economic challenges to consider, the center’s managers were seeking a cost-efficient and attractive solution to stabilize grade changes near the outdoor amphitheater. The project area would serve as a backdrop for concerts, ceremonies, outdoor movies and community events, so appearance was a priority.
A 15’ tall x 300’ long three-tier retaining wall faced with galvanized welded wire forms was designed. Each tier provided attractive horizontal planting areas for shrubs and flowers and the vertical wall face was planted with ivy. The wire forms allowed for some minor movement without distressing the structure, or causing cracks. It also tolerated a certain amount of settlement, making it a desirable solution especially in relatively poor subsoil and backfill conditions.
Strata Microgrid, SG200 and permanent turf reinforcement mat were used to reinforce and retain the soil behind the wall. A drip irrigation system was installed to hasten establishment of the vegetation and assure a green solution throughout the year. Strata provided preliminary design cross sections for cost estimating which enabled accurate bids by the landscape contractor, Twin Lakes Nursery.
The StrataWall is a beautiful asset to the center adding green to the area while retaining the soil and keeping costs within budget. The welded wire form wall fit nicely into the overall landscape plan, providing a strong, yet flexible MSE system that was easy to install and adjusted to fit the varying conditions and budget limitations.
Strata’s detailed preliminary design enabled the landscape contractor’s bid to come in lower because of their confidence in the materials needed and accuracy of the design. The project was a true partnership between all parties and a big win for the community, adding natural beauty in an urban setting, while stabilizing the soil for years to come.