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  1. #1
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    I know, in the past, we've discussed building retaining walls by simply stacking unopened sacks of concrete, but I'd probably never find the old threads. Anyway, I happened to remember to take the camera with me today when I knew I was going to be at the wall in the pictures. The first picture shows the wall from a distance, the second is a little closer, and the third is a close up of the high end, which stays in the shade all the time and some of the paper is still there. What looks like wet spots is exactly that. This wall is approximately 135' long, each row of sacks is about 4" tall and at the high end, they are stacked 35 deep. That's a lot of sacks. I've seen small walls built this way, but I think this one is the biggest I've seen.
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    Bird

  2. #2
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
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    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Wow Bird, that's a lot of sacks of concrete! Any idea how long it's been there?
    Rob
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    John Deere 790, 70 FEL, 7 BH, 513 cutter and other fun stuff

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Virginia
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    1949 farmall, 1961 Fordson Dexta, 1986 Duetz Allis, 2001 Kubota.

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    It must be true... everythings bigger in Texas!

    mark
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  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Rob, I don't really know how long it's been there, but there some things that make me think it's been there a lot of years. Nothing in that area appears to be very new. That's an apartment complex above the wall, and on the lower level is an office building with an insurance office, my Beltone hearing aid dealer, and some other offices.
    Bird

  5. #5
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
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    Northern Illinois
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    JD 4110

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    That's really facinating. Doing it that way actually make a lot of sense. I'm surprised there aren't companies selling special mixes in special bags just for that purpose.

    Cliff

  6. #6
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    Fairfield, PA
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    JD 3020, JD 4230, JD 7410, JD 2440, MF 750, NH LS170

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Hmm, that's prety interesting looking. I can't say I have ever seen a retaining wall made like that. It looks like it's holding up well.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member gordon21's Avatar
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    Lake Lure NC
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    I built a seawall using 80# Sakrete bags many years ago. The concept is fairly straightforward. Stack the bags, alternate rows by half a bag just like laying brick or block and drive some 3' rebar down through every 3rd or 4th bag. Alternate the rebar every couple rows so that at least half the bags have rebar running through them. The rebar keeps everything in place while you are working on the wall. In my case, I was walking along the top as it was being constructed. I think it went only 7-8 rows high at the highest spot. Most rows were 5-6 bags high. Slit the bags when done so the water can get in faster. Concrete bags now have a poly liner which prevents water entry.

    This wall method is not cheap. It costs far more than forming and pouring. However, it is perfect for remote areas where a truck and pump can't get close, or really small jobs that don't justify a concrete truck. It has also been known to be used where permits were required for walls and this was done by the homeowner himself on the sly. Another example would be building retaining walls around culverts on your property. I see member posts where someone is putting in a 10-20' culvert. You-stack-it bags would be great to make the sloped walls at each end to prevent erosion and make the road bank stronger and stable. No concrete trucks and the ability to work 24/7 or even in the rain are positives when bag stacking.

    The wall in the pix was a little more than just your average homeowner project. Same concept, except I would guess there were quite a few people carrying bags.
    Lewis Gordon

    JD 790, 300 FEL, 5' KK rotary mower, 5' boxscraper, Huskee 3PT logsplitter, JD#39N sickle mower and a Jinma 6" chipper in JD colors.

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  8. #8
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Bird, my back hurts just looking at that!

    What is the advantage over a poured wall in that situation?
    MossRoad

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  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    Lewis, I don't know whether they used any rebar of other "pins" to hold those bags together or not, but I would certainly think that they probably did. As close as some of our members look at some of the posted pictures and notice tiny details that I frequently overlook, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the 1" PVC sticking out between the sacks. I didn't think to count them, but there's quite a lot of them at all different heights, so it's made to drain water from somewhere behind that wall. Of course I didn't think to make any close up shots of the PVC, but the easiest one to see is in the lower right corner, two courses from the bottom and the next one is two courses higher and two bags farther left, in the second picture.
    Bird

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Willis, TX
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    Branson 3510 Ford 3000

    Default Re: Retaining Wall of Unopened Sacks of Concrete

    The seawall around the Barque Elissa in Galveston, Texas was built this way.

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