Slurry wall construction
The construction of a slurry wall.

Beginning in May, the very first pieces of the Phillip and Susan Ragon Building were put in place with the construction of a slurry wall. The slurry plant – nine large tanks – arrived to the construction site to mark the beginning of this exciting new phase, which will be ongoing for the next 3 to 5 months.

A slurry wall is used to build reinforced concrete walls to provide a foundation element to support the building, and to prevent groundwater from getting into the underground building. More than 50% of the overall perimeter of slurry wall panels have been put in place since this phase began, with an average of four panels being placed in the ground each week.

A clamshell-shaped bucket will excavate down between two concrete guide walls, creating a trench for a panel section, about 10 to 25 feet wide, of the slurry wall. This trench is filled with a slurry mixture of water and bentonite – a clay material – during excavation to keep the trench from collapsing. Once excavated to the desired depth, 100 feet or more, reinforcing steel cages – being built this week – are lowered into the trench and placed with concrete, displacing the slurry mixture to be reused for the next panel section. When these concrete-filled cages cure, they form the walls and the interior columns of the enclosed area of what will be the Ragon Building’s parking garage.