Marina Protection Using Retaining Walls

Developer chooses Redi-Rock walls to line marina on Illinois river


On the Illinois River in Ottawa, Illinois, sat a 13-acre (5.3-hectare) marina. Tom Heimsogh, owner of Heritage Harbor Ottawa Development Corp, had a vision- not what it was but what it could be.

His vision entailed turning the existing marina into a 31-acre (12.6-hectare) marina with a harbor town, stylish homes and a grand hotel. The first stage of the development would be to expand the existing marina by 18 acres (7.3 hectares) to house 400 + boat slips.

The project required approvals from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as well as the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Base course of Redi-Rock retaining wall blocks


G.A. Blocker began excavation of the marina by closing off the entrance to the river and dredging out 50,000 cubic yards (38227 cubic meters) of material. Once the material was removed, Redi-Rock of NWI supplied 60,000 square feet (5574 square meters) of Redi-Rock gravity retaining walls to support the edges of the marina and reinforce the shoreline. Redi-Rock zero degree batter walls were also utilized in the project near the launch facilities.

Redi-Rock was chosen because of the massive size of the blocks that weigh over a ton each and the engineering behind the system to allow walls to be built much higher without geogrid. The aesthetic Limestone texture retaining wall blocks also created an attractive appearance for the marina.

Redi-Rock of NWI supplied 60,000 square feet (5574 square meters) of Redi-Rock blocks in a little over 4 months by pouring the product 3 times a day.

Aerial view of Heritage Harbor project


After seeing how great the shoreline protection wall looked, the developer also incorporated other Redi-Rock walls throughout the development.


Project: Heritage Harbor #47 Owner: Heritage Harbor Ottawa Development Corp Manufacturer: Redi-Rock NWI Installer: G.A. Blocker Location: Ottawa, Illinois

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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