Project: Cheekwood Mansion - Nashville, TN
Customer: Cheekwood Art and Gardens
Contractor: Jerry Beech Concrete
Project obstacles and solutions: The Cheekwood Mansion was built in the early 1930s and surrounded by beautiful gardens that host thousands of visitors annually. It is located in Nashville, Tennessee in the heart of Belle Meade.
Leading up to the Cheekwood Mansion is a circular drive, which was used for deliveries throughout the years. The drive had been built over a cavern that had begun to give way under the weight of traffic. The driveway could no longer support traffic over 20,000 lbs.
Clayton King, the president of Jerry Beech Concrete, contacted IMI with a unique challenge. He needed to fill in the cavern to provide stability for the driveway. However, one side of the cavern was a formed foundation wall of hand laid stone that could not be removed. Over 1,400 yards of material was needed to fill the entire cavern. Due to hydrostatic pressure against the stone wall, there was a concern that normal fill materials would cause a collapse. The engineers were also concerned that the wall could not handle all of the space filled at once. To further complicate the project, Cheekwood is a historical site. The mansion is open Tuesday–Sunday, leaving only Mondays for construction. Because of the historical registry, the owners wanted the driveway to appear as close to the original as possible. The contractors needed a material that could be placed in intervals to allow previous pour to set up, yet fill all the voids in the cavern. They were looking for a light weight fill that was flowable and self-leveling.
For this project, IMI engineered a new mix design called imix ReoFill. This particular mix is 60% lighter than conventional concrete and has a high rate of flowability. Small holes were drilled in the drive and Reofill was placed directly from the mixer into the cavern. Placement also occurred in lifts to limit the hydrostatic pressure on the wall. After several weeks of placing imix ReoFill into the cavern, the tunnel was completely filled, considered sound and safe to all traffic.
The Tennessee Concrete Association awarded Cheekwood the Best Specialty Project of 2009.