The new FedEx® Ground Distribution Hub in Middletown, Connecticut, became one of the largest construction projects in the state of Connecticut. The project scope included over 300,000 square feet of segmental retaining wall block built to maximum heights of 60 feet—making it one of the largest and tallest segmental retaining wall (SRW) projects in North America.
“Due to the size, complex installation and overall scope of the wall project, we knew right from the start it would have to be a collaborative effort by all to be a success story,” said Chip George, General Manager for Earth Retention Systems, LLC, wall contractor for the project. “The general contractor Manafort Brothers, Earth Retention Systems, Advantage Engineers and the Belgard team all worked together to make that happen.”
The project involved an astounding 2.5 million cubic yards of earthwork that required six retaining wall structures, encompassing over 11,000 linear feet of SRW’s to re-grade, stabilize and optimize the site. The project also called for over 650,000 square yards of geosynthetic reinforcement. Belgard, the product manufacturer, worked with the project’s retaining wall design engineers during the design phase to secure the Vertica® Retaining Wall System with Miraﬁ® geosynthetic reinforcement as the basis of the SRW design for the project.
“The design of the massive walls needed a proven system such as Vertica Wall with Miraﬁ geogrid reinforcement,” said Scott Vollmer, SRW Market Manager for Belgard’s East region. “Vertica's four-degree batter was another advantage of the system and allowed for optimal site layout.”
Winding switchback roads leading to the hub are supported by segmental retaining walls measuring up to 60 feet in height.
“Vertica Wall was shown to be a viable product that could hold up to the structural needs of the project, look good for the client, and hit all of the other marks in terms of competitive price and a demanding square-foot-per-day delivery timeline,” added Joshua Krebs, Project Designer for Advantage Engineers.
“We worked closely with BL Companies (site civil engineer) to help optimize the retaining walls in context with the overall site design,” said Krebs. “Belgard was helpful in providing technical resources and were very responsive to everyone’s needs throughout the process. From a delivery standpoint, the materials were provided on the scheduled timeline that was needed.”
In July 2018, the entire segmental retaining wall project was completed to the customer’s satisfaction, accomplishing one of the biggest and most complex SRW applications in North America.