Hospital Parking Lot Construction along Mississippi River

Project Name

St. Cloud Hospital Expansion #80

Customer Name
St. Cloud Hospital

Design / Specifying Engineer
Civil Solutions Group, LLC

Block Manufacturer

Wall Installer
Joe's Excavating

Project Location
St. Cloud, MN

Year Built

Project Scope

The St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota is expanding their facility in a $225-million multi-phase construction project. In addition to constructing a new wing of the hospital, the expansion includes a larger loading dock area, warehouse and distribution center along with an additional 500 parking spaces.

The hospital is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, which made approximately 25,000 sq. ft. of retaining wall necessary to support a new roadway that provides access to the loading dock and warehouse area. Redi-Rock wall systems were the solution of choice for this project based on the natural-looking quarried limestone texture in addition to the engineering benefits Redi-Rock provides.

Local Redi-Rock producer Hardrives, Inc. provided blocks for the project that was installed by Joe’s Excavating and Structures Hardscapes. At the highest point, the wall supporting the roadway stands 33 ft. tall. The majority of the wall was built using Redi-Rock 28 in. series blocks and is reinforced with geogrid in every course. About 200 sf. of the wall was constructed using Redi-Rock 41 in. series gravity blocks to minimize excavation at the hospital’s property line. The gravity blocks allowed the wall in this section to be built without geogrid, which kept the wall construction from disturbing the neighboring property and saved the neighbor’s mature trees. The next phase of construction beginning in spring of 2009 will include Redi-Rock 28 in. zero batter blocks to allow construction to take place close to an adjacent building and underground utilities.

The walls were originally designed with cable fencing along the top to act as a pedestrian barrier. However, when hospital officials saw the Redi-Rock freestanding blocks, they decided Redi-Rock provided a nicer looking barrier. Freestanding blocks top the retaining walls throughout the project.

A unique facet of these walls is the uncommon bond pattern utilized. While most retaining walls have a ½ bond pattern, meaning that each course of block is offset by half the length of the block below, the St. Cloud Hospital walls have a 1/3 bond pattern. This means that each course of block is offset by 1/3. This required installation crews to custom cut a portion of the blocks in each course to create a unique look for the hospital’s walls.

At the terminus of the Redi-Rock walls stand two reinforced concrete bridge piers. To make the look of the project blend together, contractors used Redi-Rock form liners to give the cast-in-place bridge piers the look and texture of Redi-Rock walls. In the next phase of construction, a bridge will be placed atop the piers to provide access to the parking garage.

Design Manual

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