Sinclair Path Wall Project (City of Sun Valley)
Friday, June 3, 2016
Posted by: Gay Dawn Oyler
The City of Sun Valley owns and maintains nearly 11 miles of paved multi-use pathway throughout the City. The path serves as the city’s primary recreational amenity and adds significantly to the quality of life in the city by serving a healthy, athletic, and vigorous population of residents and visitors. The multi-use pathway allow residents and visitors to experience the pristine mountains and pastures of the surrounding environment while walking, bicycling, running, horseback riding, or dog walking. In the summer of 2014, the City of Sun Valley constructed a modular block gravity wall along a section of the path—the Sinclair Path—to address safety hazards caused by a failing retaining wall.
In 2009 the dry stack retaining wall along a portion of the path adjacent to the Sinclair gas station (Sinclair Path Wall) on Trail Creek Road started to fail as stones would occasionally fall from the wall. A section of the wall collapsed in the spring of 2012 and was put back in place. Another portion of the Sinclair Path fell in the spring of 2013. More sections threatened to fall as pressure from the retained grade placed increasing stress behind the wall. Frost heaves during the winter season also contributed to the wall’s insecurity. Not only was the wall failing, but this section of the path also experienced drainage problems. The footing drains did not terminate into drywells and were plugged with soil and debris. Due to the safety hazards caused by the collapsed wall, portions of the Sinclair section of the path were closed.
Aside from already popular existing use, increased use of this particular portion of the Sinclair Path was expected to increase due to its proximity to the Sun Valley Golf Course and the development of a new adjacent subdivision. The City of Sun Valley recognized the wall failure’s damaging effect on its valued recreation amenity and the importance of finding a sustainable solution. In January 2014 the Sun Valley City Council weighed alternative solutions including reconstructing the dry stack wall and installing a modular block gravity wall or a crib wall. The Council chose to construct the modular block gravity wall as this option was both functional and aesthetically pleasing. While it was the most expensive option, the modular block wall guaranteed the highest level of reliability and presented the most long-term, permanent solution. The City used available money from the City’s Street and Path Fund to cover the costs associated with rebuilding the wall. The modular block gravity wall used was a Ledgestone texture gravity wall from Redi-Rock. The total cost of construction was $241,905.56. The project was designed by the City’s engineering firm, CH2M Hill, and constructed by a local contractor, All Seasons Landscaping. To ensure quality construction, the City contracted with a local engineer to provide inspection services for the wall as it was being constructed. Due to the City’s efforts, residents and visitors once again can enjoy this section of the multi-use path.
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