Building a Rip Rap Seawall

From Designing to Construction

The term “riparian” derives from the Latin word ripa, meaning riverbank. A riparian zone is a strip of land adjacent to a watercourse that supports plants and animals adapted to such conditions. Riprap is also known as broken stone or rubble used for protection against erosion of soil from construction sites, roadways and other earthworks in coastal areas subject to flooding, wave damage or storm surges. The purpose of this article will be to provide an overview on how one should go about designing a Rip Rap Seawall and then construct it according to specific guidelines set forth by the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

Rip Rap Seawall

-Designing a Rip Rap Seawall

The first step in constructing one is deciding on what type of rip rap should be used. There are three types; natural rock, quarry stone and manufactured aggregate (rock). The most commonly used style for this purpose is quarried rock because it has been proven time and again as effective against erosion. It also lasts longer than other styles due to its higher strength properties such as compressive strength which can withstand pressure from wave action or currents without cracking. Next you need to decide how thick the seawall needs to be since this impacts both cost and installation duration. For example if there’s already an certain width that we can use as a guide then we ‘ll use that width and multiply it by the desired height.

You should hire professional who will know how to calculate the necessary quantities for installation.

Design considerations are determining what type of rock you will need and where it is located, as well as engineering calculations that determine if your design can withstand anticipated conditions; rip rap seawalls are typically in place due to erosion or wave.