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How do you balance the environmental needs to limit cutting down trees in a forest and constructing a sound wall to lower the highway noise reaching a new apartment development? You build a wall in the woods.

To limit tree cutting, a 10-foot-wide limit of disturbance was provided along the length of a 756-foot-long wall in Bethesda, Md. A 25-foot-wide construction entrance was provided at a third point along the wall to bring in materials. The wall ranged in height from 15 feet to 33.5 feet.

Steel posts were bolted down to the shafts and lightweight fiberglass panels, supplied by AIL Sound Walls, were laid in between the flanges.

To be able to build the “wall in the woods,” a low-head-room drill rig was used to install drilled shafts. Once the shafts were complete, steel posts were bolted down to the shafts and lightweight fiberglass panels, supplied by AIL Sound Walls, were laid in between the flanges. The use of the bolt-down method and the lightweight panels made for easier installation in the tight constraints of the 10-foot-wide construction limits.

Not counting the upfront planning to be able to build the project, Sound wall construction took 10 weeks to install 17,417 square feet of wall. Construction was longer than a conventional highway wall, but the tree save aspects allowed for a beautiful forest to remain intact for a new apartment complex.

Information provided by Geostructures (geostructures.com).

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