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Retaining structures along trails


Retaining walls are an essential feature of many urban trails. Stream corridors in particular have sharp changes in topography while planners try to keep trails out of the seasonal floodway. Highway corridors often have similar constraints and narrow rights of way. Endless varieties of materials have been used to shore up trails, with concrete a common solution. Stone is also commonly used in parts of the country where it is available. Walls can be quite massive, and depending on the material and design, these structures can either add to the interest of the trail or give the impression of a prison. (Photos and commentary by Stuart Macdonald.)


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