CornerStone Retaining Walls at Fun Depot – Asheville, NC

Manufacturer: Adams Oldcastle
Installation Company: Taylor & Murphy Construction Co.
Owner: Asheville’s Fun Depot
General Contractor: Day Associates Construction Services, PA
Engineer: Day Associates Engineering Services, PA and ECS of Greenville, SC
Master Dealer: GeoSpec Environments
Dealer: Roger F. Williams Co. dba/Willco
Geogrid: Synteen
Year Built: 2006

Family fun in Asheville, NC, reached new heights thanks to a multi-level outdoor go-kart track at local entertainment facility Fun Depot. An adventure center for kids and parents alike, Fun Depot added the new go-kart track to its extensive activity offerings by installing intricate CornerStone retaining walls to make better use of its property.

Located just minutes from Asheville’s scenic downtown core along Interstate 40, the 36,000 sq. ft. (3,345 sq. meter) Fun Depot was home to countless family-friendly activities. From bowling and arcade games to climbing walls, the entertainment hub was an epicenter for childhood memories.

Retaining Walls Fast-Track Go-Kart Project

Complete with multiple walls and tight curves, CornerStone 100 retaining wall blocks rose to the occasion – figuratively and literally – to support the Fun Depot’s ambitious vision. Fun Depot’s owner and developer, David Day, was familiar with CornerStone’s segmental retaining walls. Day knew that with this retaining wall system, he could unlock huge potential for the undeveloped hillside beside the building.

Working in tandem with local CornerStone manufacturer Adams Oldcastle and the nearby Willco dealership to source CornerStone 100 blocks, the team from Taylor & Murphy Construction Co. helped install the project on site. Day’s engineering background and knowledge of CornerStone products’ capabilities helped reimagine a previously unusable portion of land.

Steep Hillside Challenges for Tall Walls

CornerStone 100 retaining wall blocks were selected because of their proven performance in difficult applications, combined with the inherent ease of installation for its patented system. This proved important, due to the complicated nature of the Fun Depot’s project and stature of the walls.

The sheer heights of the proposed geogrid retaining walls were a critical aspect of this project, due to the rigorous pressures of a multi-level go-kart track and parking lot above. This terraced approach to the design meant double-faced retaining walls were required in some areas while geogrid was needed throughout to help maintain soil retention for the immense load bearing walls.

This CornerStone retaining wall’s main purpose was to help maximize land usage for the Fun Depot. To extend and reclaim the challenging hillside, cut and fill techniques could help accommodate the go-kart track.

For the cut and fill, the slope’s lower portion was removed along the parking lot to build the retaining wall. Once complete, backfill was added and compacted behind the retaining wall to ensure a level surface was level and prepared for construction of the go-kart course. Cut and fill projects are common practice to expand usable square footage and overcome limiting factors incurred by steep drop-offs or inclines on commercial or residential properties. With more space, comes more creativity.

Curved Features of Retaining Walls

Fun Depot’s project includes many strategic curves interwoven into the racetrack’s tight turns and radiuses. CornerStone 100’s exceptional versatility allowed the retaining walls to intertwine for an exhilarating go-kart experience and breathtaking engineering design.

CornerStone blocks have easily removable concrete wings for concave curves, while the SecureLugs on the bottom of each unit provide a perfectly aligned and consistent setback for every wall on site. In short, the small SecureLugs make a major difference in keeping retaining walls straight, calculated and on course.

Another special feature of the racecourse was a smaller, often-overlooked detail. The guardrails were specially designed as to not add extra pressure to the retaining walls, which is a unique twist for projects of this size and shape. Large boulders known as “rip rap” are lay along the outer edges of each retaining wall. These add an added layer of protection that helps with erosion control.

Fun Depot Takes the Checkered Flag

CornerStone’s support and expertise was leaned on throughout the project as Asheville’s Fun Depot thought outside the box to deliver new solutions for its aspiring business plans. This retaining wall project was a major accomplishment in many ways. From creative engineering to the endless possibilities for CornerStone’s segmental retaining walls, this was an unquestionable success.

Fun Depot’s one-of-a-kind track proves that with the right product, retaining wall system and design, any property can be developed. Whether it be a parking lot along a steep slope, or a hillside go-kart track, CornerStone can make it happen.