Gabions: Economical, Environmentally Compatible Erosion Control

by Max A. Burroughs, (F.ASCE), Consulting Engr.; Burroughs Engineering, Kearney, Neb.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 1, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article


Not well known in this country, gabions have been in use for about 75 years in Europe. Gabions are wire baskets, filled with rock and wired together to form an erosion control or bank retention system. They are economical, permeable, and flexible and a good substitute for concrete retaining walls and rock rip-rap. For the past 8 years, Lincoln, Nebraska has used gabions to retain creek walls and line channels in subdivisions. Gabions have prevented further erosion, are natural looking and allow for natural revegetation. Case histories included in the article are: Santa Clara Water District (San Jose, Calif.) where gabions are used in a flood control project; St. Louis County Department of Public Works (Missouri) where gabions are used for erosion control and retaining walls in subdivisions; and Four-Mile Run (Northern Virginia) where the U.S. Corps of Engineers has tested extensively and recommended use of gabions on a large flood control project.

Subject Headings: Retaining structures | Economic factors | Environmental issues | Erosion | Rocks | Case studies | Floods | Project management | United States | Europe | Nebraska | Missouri | Virginia

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