Solid As A Rock

Aq 1105 170pg 0001

There was no one here in the Midwest that said it could be done," says Scott Pearce, talking about this pool and spa in Rapids City, Ill., that was built into a 140-foot cliff overlooking the Mississippi River. "But we knew it could be done. It's just a matter of cost, a matter of some engineering and overbuilding the structure," adds Pearce, president of Blue Water Luxury Pools and Design Company in Bettendorf, Iowa.

"So we approached it no different than building a military bunker, and it has become widely known as the 'Bunker Pool'," he says. The steel-reinforced concrete bunker has 3-footwide, 16-foot-deep footings below grade with 14-inch-thick walls on top of that. "Inside the bunker are cross footings that tie in the walls that run underneath the pool and so it's all tied in with cable." To get the pool up to grade, the structure was then filled in with different size rocks and fibermat. "Somewhere between 22 and 25 cement trucks full of concrete were used to build this bunker," says Pearce. "Everything about this pool had to be craned in or brought in with the use of a telebelt or a concrete pump wagon."

In determining how to adequately support the pool and spa, Blue Water did not have to hire an engineer, because the homeowner was one. "So there was some cost savings there," says Pearce.

On top of the bunker, the pool and spa have fiber optics, are fully automated and feature custom tile at the waterline. A strip of exposed aggregate encircles both vessels, as well, and a Trex deck fills in the rest of the floor space.

According to Pearce, when the homeowner is asked how much the project cost, he simply shakes his head and smiles β€” that's not a question he's going to answer.

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