Building a river bank retaining wall???


  #1  
Old 09-08-09, 04:35 PM
9
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Building a river bank retaining wall???

Hey all,

For a long time now my family has owned some cabins in norther jersey right on a river bank. And when i say on the river bank im talking like seriously 4 feet away from the edge. Now this is a tiny little river, maybe 40-50 wide and with depth of anywhere from 6" to about 2 feet, allthough durring floods can put water as high as 6 feet above the river bank.

Now back in the old days all the men would scour the river for large rocks and stack them along the river bank, throw in some concreate and call it a day to stop the bank from erroding. But now these rocks are all folling into the river after years of neglect and the banks are slowly starting to colapse.

I need some info on how to build a decent retaining wall without spending a ton of money. Should i go the same route and just stacks ome rocks back up, or look at a more suitable process?

I really dont know anything about the propper way to do this so im kinda in the dark. Any help on what i should do and a process for doing it would be great! Just dont want my families cabins falling into the river!

Heres the only pic i have but it may be helpfull as a visual aid. The near bank is the one i need to preserve.

 
  #2  
Old 09-08-09, 04:57 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,460
Received 47 Upvotes on 43 Posts
Hi 92, I know posters hate to hear about code issues, but you are dealing with wet lands, actually it probably comes under federal regulations. I know up north, they have aerial photos of all shorelines and can see the existing rock formations. Move a rock and pay to have it put back. The paper just had an article about an inspector who makes two visits every year to the lakes he covers and compares new photos with past photos.

So, the place to start is with your local AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) and see if any work would be acceptable. My guess is it would not, or if possible, the process will be difficult. Not an expert on NJ rules and regulations, but when I was building down there, they were sticklers for details.

Looks like a great place to get away.
Bud
 
  #3  
Old 09-08-09, 06:44 PM
9
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I must say, if we havent been bother about the crumbling conditions of these cabins, and the fact that we are using outhouses and whatnot up here i doubt anyone is going to notice us fixing up an old wall. Its not like we are creating a new river bank, just mearly trying to preserve the one there already is from colapsing.
 
  #4  
Old 09-08-09, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,650
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
If you are repairing the wall bringing it up to normal standards, there should not be a problem since it is a restoration/repair.

If you start with different materials and methods that sets the wheels in motion and you could be responsible even if it is not around others, but it affects those dowmstream.

If you try to move it, you definitely are line for a big fine and the cost of removal and restoration of the shore to original.

Dick
 

Last edited by Concretemasonry; 09-08-09 at 07:24 PM. Reason: spelling
  #5  
Old 09-09-09, 03:59 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,460
Received 47 Upvotes on 43 Posts
If you have any old photos that show what it used to look like and work generally in that direction, you might have some support for the restoration.

If you go with the old approach, no heavy equipment, you will run less of a risk of being noticed. I was visiting a camp years ago with a rather nice sandy beach, but it was the only camp in that area with one. The owner told the story about watching her dad pull up with the boat and unload a bucket of sand he had gotten from somewhere. As he would walk from the boat towards the camp, he would trip and spill the bucket. He would pretend to be angry and kick the sand around and stomp back to camp completing his drama. It was his way of sneaking in some sand a little at a time, but if anyone was watching he always would have his excuse. But slow and steady over the years they ended up with this accidental beach.

enjoy
Bud
 
  #6  
Old 09-09-09, 05:25 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 36,607
Upvotes: 0
Received 9 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Just a thought, too, don't use anything to make the wall that you can't find already there. So no concrete. And you probably can't remove anything from the water bed to make your wall. All will have to be native, but from dry land.
Where we are, we can't even correct damage caused by others (stupid contractors) without express consent of the EPD. They have to inspect it, do a study (which takes at least a year), make recommendations to the original contractor (if they can find them), and you can't use heavy machinery (although the damage was caused by heavy machinery).
So be careful, educated, and compliant.
 
  #7  
Old 09-09-09, 02:55 PM
9
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
can a propper retaining wall really be built by just piling some rocks together and calling it a day?

Im trying to get educated but information on the construction of a wall of this kind is pretty limited. I find it strange that theres all these restrictions even if you own the property the river bank is on.
 
  #8  
Old 09-09-09, 03:14 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,460
Received 47 Upvotes on 43 Posts
They call it "riprap" and it is used for exactly what you plan. Of course yours will be a selection of native rocks, but this link will give you an idea. Luck Stone - Construction Aggregates

I have to tell you a story about using your own property. A friend of a friend, young fella who loved the outdoors had set up camp on a large tract of land his family owned. The father was taking care of some town office related business and in casual conversation someone asked how his son was doing. He replied he was having a ball camping out at the lake where he plans to build a camp in the future. Well he spoke up at the wrong location. At the end of the discussion he stopped to visit his son and tell him he could no longer camp there until he had an approved POTTY. It would have to be inspected, and a record submitted monthly of it being dumped at an approved waste station. They own about 50 acres and I guess we are no longer allowed to take a nature call in natures woods.

I could maybe understand a stream or lake as others can be affected by our use, but give me a break, THE WOODS?

Had to throw that in.
Bud
 
  #9  
Old 09-09-09, 03:43 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 36,607
Upvotes: 0
Received 9 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Just to make clear, your property line ends at the water's edge if that water flows either from, to or through Federal land. As was mentioned earlier, if pictures are available of an earlier time, then it can be restored. My deed specifically states the river which is my back property line "as it meanders", which means as the river changes course, so does your property line.
 
  #10  
Old 09-10-09, 02:59 PM
9
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Its all alot of great info guys, except im still missing the answer to my question. How do i repair the wall?? The bank is not at an angle, it goes straight up, Rising a max of 3 feet above water level.

I cant imagine just stacking natural rocks against the bank and it not colapsing back into the river after a good flood. Whats the engineering behind the project??
 
  #11  
Old 09-12-09, 05:11 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 36,607
Upvotes: 0
Received 9 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Start your rip rap or natural stone away from the wall and pyramid it up to the top of the wall, filling it in as you go. That way it won't "fall" back into the river unless you really have a frog strangler. Oh, we weren't aware the wall was that high, so we were giving information on creekside rip rap.
 
  #12  
Old 09-12-09, 05:38 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I will agree with all of the posts regarding getting the proper approvals before doing any construction work. In NY the DEC (dept of environmental protection) have their own police force and carry hand cuffs for offenders.

Anyway, I have been involved in several shoreline improvement projects and in most cases native materials are always recommended. You should consider using gabion baskets which are galvanized wire baskets in a rectangular form which get filled with native stones. The baskets get wired together to form a flexible yet monolithic wall system. The geometry of the wall will depend on the site conditions, flood elevations and related design constraints. They are a very economical solution for retaining walls. Maccaferri is leading manufacturer. Check out their website for design recommendations
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: