Redi-Rock: An attractive and cost-effective abutment solution

Project Name

Town Creek Parkway Bridge #113

Customer Name
Tetra Companies

Design / Specifying Engineer
Geo Services (Robert Saunders, P.E.)

Block Manufacturer
Blalock Ready Mix

Wall Installer
Charles Blalock & Sons

Project Location
Lenoir City, Tennessee

Year Built

Project Scope


When a development in Lenoir City, Tennessee required a new bridge, the owner wanted to do something different than standard bridge abutments.

"The owner needed a wall to contain the abutment fills so the bridge could be shortened to a single span bridge. If retaining walls for the abutments had not been used, a much longer three span bridge would have been needed," explained Blalock Construction's Dale Dockery.


To shorten the span of the bridge and save money, the general contractor proposed a precast, massive retaining wall system called Redi-Rock for the job. The developer liked the aesthetics and the design of the Redi-Rock system and chose Redi-Rock as an alternative to a conventional tie-back system or conventional concrete cantilever wall bearing on piles.

Redi-Rock is a retaining wall system that utilizes massive, one-ton blocks to harness the power of gravity and build taller walls that often don't require reinforcement, and even taller walls with reinforcement.

"There was a stream with an existing sewer line near the stream embankment that would have had to be moved if a tie back or conventional concrete cantilever wall bearing on piles had been used," Dockery said.

Redi-Rock blocks are available in three textures including Limestone, Cobblestone and the new Ledgestone textures to give walls the "Essence of Natural Rock" look. For this project, Limestone textured blocks from Blalock Construction give the abutments a polished look.

"The Redi-Rock walls looked fantastic in comparison to the standard walls that are commonly used in bridge abutments… It (Redi-Rock) was easy to install, it was easy to engineer, and there are a lot of options for finishes," explained Robert Saunders, P.E. of GEO Services, LLC.

Redi-Rock is easy to install because crews simply use a piece of heavy machinery to stack the interlocking blocks like giant Lego blocks.

"There are sections of this wall that were left gravity and the program (Redi-Rock Wall Analysis Software) definitely helped in engineering it. For the reinforced sections, we used the NCMA program (SRWall)," Saunders added.

The abutments were built using Redi-Rock 28 in. blocks (measured from face of block to rear) and stand 16 ft. high at highest point, are 100 ft. long and encompass a total of 5700 sq. ft. The sections of the walls that are reinforced utilize geogrid in every other course.

To install, the walls had to be excavated to the bottom of the wall elevation, then the abutment bearing piles had to be installed in the reinforcement zone behind the walls before the wall backfill and reinforcement could be placed.


In total, the Redi-Rock abutments took only 12 days to install. If you would like more information on designing Redi-Rock bridge abutments or to download Redi-Rock Wall Analysis Software, visit or call our on-staff engineers at (866) 222-8400.

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