Originally designed to be cast-in-place, general contractor Hensel Phelps instead proposed using a shotcrete wall and placing precast concrete panels as a facing. The panels were formed and hand-stained to mimic the look and color variations of a natural stone wall, matching a stone wall on nearby Rock Creek Parkway.
“You have a better-looking wall this way. The joints all lines up well and the shoulder joints were set consistently. Speed of construction was good. The owner is pretty happy,” says Kim Slusher, Hensel Phelps’ site manager.
Panels were erected using a crane and were connected to the shotcrete wall with stainless steel plates and anchors. Seven panels were set per shift, equaling one panel set per hour. Within a few weeks, most of the 30-foot-high wall was completed.
“This wall has all the color variations of a natural stone wall, and a permanent penetrating stain that will last indefinitely,” says SMC President Ashley Smith. “We are proud of this project that exemplifies Smith-Midland’s ability to innovate, improve, and initiate products that are current and pleasing to the eye. We worked out the logistics with multiple contractors and delivered a quality product for our customer.”
The finished stone retaining wall for the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. The panels were formed and hand-stained to mimic the look and color variations of a natural stone wall.