Elementis Dock Wall
- Location Wisconsin
Michels rebuilt a 250-foot wakefield timber dockwall that was built in the 1930s. Throughout the decades, the dockwall had deteriorated, mainly because of fluctuating river levels. During periods of low water levels, untreated wood components of the dockwall were no longer submerged in water and, thus, were exposed to air. Oxygen in the air facilitates growth of organisms that expedite decay. Over time, the rotted wood dockwall produced holes, which permitted the soil behind the wall to pass through, thus creating voids under the structures behind the wall. It was rebuilt by driving a chain of 5-foot-wide steel sheets about 50 feet deep into the river bed. The sheets were then fastened to a subterranean structure between the river and the building. The project took about a year of planning before a three-month window of construction.