A Brief History of Riverbank Repair Techniques

A Brief History of Riverbank Repair Techniques

All riverbanks are subject to erosion, eventually this can lead to riverbank failure. For example, the images below show the signs of a bank slip taking place and then the aftereffects following the collapse. Riverbank failure can be caused when the gravitational forces acting on a bank exceed the forces which hold it together. Failure will be dependent on the sediment type, the layering materials and the moisture content within the bank.

An ancient way of helping to protect riverbanks was to install what was known as camp shedding (Also referred to as camp-shot, camp-sheeting, camp-sheathing.)

This involves hitting upright timber logs into the riverbank and infilling between the uprights with branches. Some parts of the world still use this technique, but it fails to offer long-term protection compared to modern techniques, such as using steel sheet piles.

In later years the technique of camp shedding evolved into using more solid cut pieces of timber. These timbers we installed between carefully spaced upright posts to help create more of a solid barrier.

The modern-day definition of camp shedding is “Facing of piles and boards along a river bank to protect it from the action of the current, or to stop the bank from collapsing.”

In more recent times, due to technological advances and the availability of marine piling equipment, steel sheet piles are used as a substitute for timber. This is due to the extended whole life cycle that steel offers over timber. This method of using steel is particularly popular with residential riverside developments, as it offers extra strength, far superior durability and is low maintenance once installed. Cooks Marine Services predominantly operates within a freshwater environment and even lightweight steel sheet piles have a life span of between 30 to 40 years.

An example of river side steel sheet piling installed by Cooks Marine Services is pictured below. Some may argue that Cooks Marine Services are a modern-day camp shedding contractor. Yet nowadays this type of riverbank repair or riverbank protection is undertaken by a steel sheet piling contractor, who specialises in riverbank work. Cooks Marine Services have a vast array of specialist marine plant and equipment required to undertake this type of riverside construction work.

If you would like further information or a chance to talk to someone, please get in touch.

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