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Blocks and Gabion Baskets

Features, FYL Home, Hardscaping, Landscaping, Pool Contractor, Pool Hardscape, Storm Damage, Water Abatement

Gabion baskets and mattresses form containers, that when filled with stone, provide an aesthetic method for retaining earth or controlling soil erosion.  As a method for retaining earth, gabion baskets are stacked atop one another to form a hardscape feature, retaining walls, culvert headwalls, bridge abutments or bridge wing walls.

Erosion control uses involve laying baskets or mattresses side-by-side on the ground to develop channel lining, bank protection, weirs and drop structures.

Advantages of the system include:

  • less space required than for other types of retaining walls
  • less excavation needed
  • reduced environmental impact
  • increased structural strength

Pre-assembled gabions are made of welded wire fabric and have shape control that is far superior to that achieved with other types of baskets. The fabric used in these baskets is identical to the mesh used to reinforce concrete flatwork. The improved finished shape of welded wire mesh gabions produces a more pleasing appearance. In addition, gabions install at a considerably faster rate than woven wire baskets. Studies have shown that welded wire baskets install at a rate that reduces labor costs by at least 50%.

In civil engineering a gabion wall is a retaining wall made of rectangular containers (baskets) fabricated of thick galvanized wire, which are filled with stone and stacked on one another, usually in tiers that step back with the slope rather than vertically.

The most common civil engineering use of gabions is to stabilize shorelines or slopes against erosion. Other uses include retaining walls, temporary floodwalls, to filter silt from runoff, for small or temporary/permanent dams, river training, channel lining.

They may be used to direct the force of a flow of flood water around a vulnerable structure. Gabions are also used as fish barriers on small streams.  Gabion baskets have some advantages over loose riprap because of their modularity and ability to be stacked in various shapes; they are also resistant to being washed away by moving water.

Gabions also have advantages over more rigid structures because they can conform to ground movement, dissipate energy from flowing water, and drain freely. Their strength and effectiveness may increase with time in some cases, as silt and vegetation fill the interstitial voids and reinforce the structure. They are sometimes used to keep stones which may fall from a cutting or cliff from endangering traffic on a thoroughfare.

Properly manufactured gabions and mattresses fully comply with ASTM Standard A974 in regard to the material used and the methods of manufacture. ASTM A974 establishes minimum requirements for all materials used in welded wire gabions as well as the manufacture and pre-assembly of the baskets and mattresses.   The best fabric used in the baskets is a 3″ x 3″ grid with wire that is either galvanized (11 Gage) or PVC coated (12 Gage). PVC coated is used in applications where greater durability is required or a different aesthetic appearance is desired.

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Topics: blocks, Gabion Mattress, gabions, hardscape, landscape design, Landscaping Hardscaping Ponds, water abatement,

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