Tuscaloosa Riverfront Development – Tuscaloosa, Alabama


tuscaloosa riverfront developmentTuscaloosa Riverfront Development, LLC
2619 University Boulevard
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Project Engineer:

McGiffert & Associates, LLC
2814 Stillman Boulevard
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Design/Build Company:

Synergy Earth Systems, LLC
26240 Equity Drive
Daphne, AL 36526

Tuscaloosa is a growing city that is home to the University of Alabama. Part of the growth has led to several commercial development projects around the town. This project consisted of a multi-story office building that was going to be built a short distance from the banks of the Black Warrior River. During the design phase, it was determined from soil borings that the site was underlain by compressible soils. This posed a problem because most of the site had to be raised to an elevation that was 1’ above the 100 year flood level of the Black Warrior River. This required that the entire site from East to West needed to have a retaining wall installed to raise the site grades up to the elevation required. The walls went from 0’ to 25’ in height. This meant that the compressible soils beneath the site would create potential stability and settlement problems for this site. The conventional solutions would require that the site be undercut by 15’ to 20’ to remove all of the compressible soils or that some sort of deep foundation system be installed throughout the site. Both options were cost prohibitive and the project was in jeopardy of not moving forward.

Synergy was contacted regarding the above project to review the information and see if a they could provide a more cost-effective solution to the problem. After some preliminary meetings and site visits, Synergy proposed the use of multiple soil reinforcement technologies that would address the soft soil challenges at the site. The initial phase of the solution provided for the installation of wick drains throughout the area with compressible soils from the wall location and behind. After the wick drains were installed a “flexible” wall system was installed to the lines and grades required per the site drawings. Then the surcharge was added to get the allotted settlement out of the subsurface soils as determined from the readings from the settlement plates. Once the surcharge was removed, the construction of the pavements and utilities could commence. The Owner benefited from having one company, Synergy, handle all of the design and construction of the solution proposed.