Build a DOT Retaining Wall on the Ohio River

Redi-Rock retaining walls support highway and create space for riverfront park


As part of the Riverside Drive improvement project, the city of Cincinnati was renovating a busy downtown street and providing parking below for a popular riverfront park. In order to maximize parking space, the city required a retaining wall with the structural stability to support the roadway above.

"Widening and realignment of vertical and horizontal grades required the construction of a retaining wall on the Ohio River side of the roadway," said Rich Pohana, P.E. with the City of Cincinnati's Department of Transportation and Engineering. "The face of the proposed retaining wall ranged from less than 3.5 feet (1.07 meters) from the face of the existing wall for a distance of 400 feet (121.9 meters). Use of other types of segmental units would have required geogrid reinforcement with lengths extending beyond the existing wall, requiring its removal."

Parking area with Limestone retaining wall incorporating stepsRedi-Rock Limestone texture blocks match the historic limestone in downtown Cincinnati, making it a good fit for this riverfront park. The walls support the highway above.


The City of Cincinnati wanted a product that had the appropriate visual scale for the 900 feet (274.3 meters) long wall as well as a look that would replicate the natural limestone that is prevalent throughout the downtown area. Local Redi-Rock manufacturer, Redi-Rock Structures of OKI, proposed a zero-batter Redi-Rock gravity wall to maximize parking for this wall, allowing "clean" corners and the natural limestone look the city wanted.

The Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering department chose Redi-Rock retaining wall systems based on the look of the blocks coupled with the engineered strength the walls offered. The 900 feet (274.3 meters) long gravity wall is 21 feet (6.4 meters) tall at the highest point. Redi-Rock of OKI manufactured these Redi-Rock blocks with a zero degree batter. The massive size of each Redi-Rock block matched the scale of this project. With nearly 6 square feet (.56 square meters) of Limestone textured face on every one-ton block, this Redi-Rock wall did not require the time and space-consuming geogrid that smaller block walls would have required.

Concrete sidewalks and curbs were poured directly atop the Redi-Rock blocks and poured concrete sidewalks provide access to the street above the parking lot. "This Riverside Drive Project was an exciting and innovative project which expressed Cincinnati's continuing commitment to improving neighborhood vitality through context sensitive design of our transportation facilities," Pohana said.


Project: Riverside Drive #73 Customer: City of Cincinnati Engineer: City of Cincinnati Department of Transportation Manufacturer: Redi-Rock Structures of OKI Installer: Ray Prus Construction Location: Cincinnati, Ohio Year Built: 2007

Gravity Retaining Wall Blocks - Massive, one-ton Redi-Rock gravity blocks rely on the sheer mass of each block to hold back the earth.

Limestone Texture - Redi-Rock Limestone blocks mimic the texture of natural split Limestone.

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