August 2, 2014 / Case Studies


Work on the project began in the summer of 2011. Removal of the existing wall was followed by the excavation of a trench for a footing. Ocean Avenue remained open and untouched during the construction of the new wall. The wall was completed in mid-August, just before tropical storm Irene visited the Rhode Island coast. The wall had a second major test with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012. The use of the large wet-cast ReCon Block in combination with Tensar® grids and ArmorLoc hard armor resulted in a unique, cost effective, and construction efficient design that is now standing up to the pounding that the open Atlantic Ocean constantly delivers.


The City of Newport, RI had an existing retaining wall that protected Ocean Avenue and needed to be replaced. The wall was in very tough shape, due to chemical breakdown of the concrete and reinforcing steel within the existing wall, combined with the severe erosion behind the wall. The retaining wall blocks used were the ReCon® wet cast modular retaining wall blocks. These blocks measure 48” long by 16” high and run up to 60” in depth. These were wet cast blocks that utilized a special mix design that was created to withstand the adverse effect of salt water with a service life in excess of 75 years.


Ocean Avenue
Newport, RI

Civil Engineer

Design Build

Site Contractor

Mello Construction Co.
Middletown, RI

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