Woodstock Road Retaining Wall Receives ACEC/MD Excellence Award

The Woodstock Road Retaining Wall Emergency Replacement project has received an Honor Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies Maryland (ACEC/MD) 2019 Engineering Excellence Awards competition. Nicholas Roles and Hatem Abukhudair of EBA Engineering, Inc. (EBA) accepted the award at a banquet on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

EBA provided design and construction phase services for the retaining wall replacement, including a subsurface investigation, geotechnical analysis, design recommendations, construction inspection, and materials testing.

“We’re honored that the entire team is being recognized for their dedication on this project,” said EBA President and CEO Rizwan Siddiqi, PE. “The team was committed to finding an innovative, economical solution that would also involve the least inconvenience possible for our client.”

ACEC’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value.

On July 30, 2016, severe flash flooding around Ellicott City, Maryland, caused a 6-foot-high, 200-foot-long retaining wall to collapse along the east side of Woodstock Road in Woodstock, Maryland.

Woodstock Road is a narrow, well-traveled, rural collector road, and any repairs would require closing the road and using a long detour. The Howard County Department of Public Works needed a fast and sustainable solution to keep the road safe and open to motorists.

Project challenges included an expedited construction schedule, considerable site constraints, and various environmental conditions. To save both time and money, a new precast modular block retaining wall system was designed as a gravity wall to replace the existing concrete retaining wall.

The final design of the wall system was prepared by AFS Geo Consultants, LLC, the installer/distributor of Stone Strong®. Once the demolition and excavation were complete, the contractor was able to erect more than 200 feet of Stone Strong modular wall in less than a week. This reduced the construction duration by 4–5 weeks and meant a much shorter disruption to traffic patterns and bus routes during the school year.

In all, residents and visitors benefitted from a quick, innovative solution to a potential travel nuisance. Woodstock’s roadways serve residents, commuters, and visitors in the greater Baltimore area.


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