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Retaining Wall for Alberta Canada quick facts?  RSS feed

 
Dee Swanson
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Currently building a tire retaining wall in Alberta Canada.

The area is infested with natural springs and I'm worried about "tire float". The frost freeze & thaw will cause tires buried to "float" to the top. From what I can gather. I need to create a giant "wedge" made out of tires (or pyramid) an fill them with 3/4" stone at the bottom & inner tires an only using earth in the upper & outer tires (which plants will go in). Each layer of tires will be "bolted together" with stainless steel bolts/hardware because the soil is this very caustic ancient sea floor which oddly enough is the thickest & the worst on that particular spot.

Concrete blocks are readily available and generally cheap but they are very ugly an usually the cost of trucking them in is way more than their worth. Tires are local & abundant since we have big pickup trucks & SUVs a plenty in these oil towns so finding enough tires isn't a problem.

I'm putting up a quonset on screwpile & steel beam foundation to insure what happened to my fathers barn doesn't happen again, see picture attached. The retaining wall will go behind it

Any advice would be appreciated, most tire retaining wall youtube videos & articles are based in regions like Southern USA & South America where it's not exposed to winter. We had a massive amount of rain last year, so much even my neighbors garden in front of his house heaved up 6 inches an wrecked the siding at the bottom.

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keith s elliott
Posts: 57
Location: Ruxton Island
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Hi there: we live over at Anglemont in B.C., so our climate is very similar to yours.  I will say that there are a number of tire retaining walls in this area, and by the looks of them, they have been here for a number of years.

In order to avoid the potential problem of your tires "floating" which I don't think they should do, may I suggest you try this.

First dig about a foot below grade where you need to place your tire wall.  Put about 6" of sharp rock in the trench.  Use a tamper to pack the sharp rock really well. Add your first row of tires and pack it hard with dirt, I don't think you need to use expensive stones, but if you have fist sized rocks by all means use them.  Fill behind the tires with at least 6" of sharp rock again.  Repeat until your tire retaining wall is at the height you desire.

We did a retaining wall last year, but out of concrete blocks.  Honestly, it was way too expensive.  But we used the method above, using the sharp rock to provide adequate drainage behind the wall.  We did use a tamper to pack the stone hard between layers, and I'm told that is a critical step.

We have just gone through a terrible winter, very cold, lots of snow and now lots of rain.  I know our relatives in Calgary are complaining about the SNOW today!  It has been a strange one.

Our wall - so far - is still just as we built it.  So it appears the system works.
 
Dee Swanson
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So on the first layer of tires, instead of packing with Earth, pack them with fist sized stones if available. Actually we have quite a few of those in this field. More rocks than dirt in this one "stretch" of field. We have all these lil rock piles by the river/ravine. So more rock the better, more weight, better drainage.
 
keith s elliott
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Location: Ruxton Island
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Yes you can always use a mix of earth and stones, just remember to pack it really hard.  I think it's probably easier to use one of those 10" by 10" hand tampers in your case.  We were able to use a mechanical tamper which saved tremendously on our old backs.

Don't forget that much of the success of this system relies on the drain rock that you place behind the tire wall.  You don't want water accumulating there.  As long as the water has a path to get out, you should be OK.
 
Chris McLeod
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Location: Cherokee, Victoria, Australia
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Hey,

The tyre retaining walls sound interesting.

As a suggested alternative, if you have access to free local rocks, have you considered rock gabion retaining walls? I make them here being on a steep site and they withstand very heavy rain - but I also have lots of free rocks so that makes them very cheap and very local.

Cheers

Chris
 
keith s elliott
Posts: 57
Location: Ruxton Island
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Chris, to the best of my knowledge, the gabion wall cages are quite costly up this way.

The department of highways uses them by the hundred in this area. 

Even in the small town I live in, there are several dozen gabion walls.  They do look good for sure.
 
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