The State of Texas has over 3300 miles of saltwater coastline and thousands more miles of coastline on the many lakes, rivers, and reservoirs across the state. Waterfront barrier systems such as seawalls and bulkheads are designed to protect land and property from the forces of water. Be it tidal action, rain, major storm events, or other forms of hydrostatic pressure, water is relentless and it never stops working to undermine coastal infrastructure.
In this presentation I will discuss the anatomy of a seawall and explain how all of the components have to work together to insure that it does not fail. I will explain the sequence of events that lead to seawall and bulkhead failure, with pictures and examples as evidence: Filter fabric failure, soil loss, panel movement, seawall cap cracking and spalling, tieback stress, and catastrophic failure. I explain some of the common remedies that are used but do not solve the problem.
Finally, I will present how polymer technology is used to stabilize the soil behind seawalls in conjunction with a redesigned system for providing hydrostatic pressure relief. I will show how the complete system can be used to double the remaining life of a new or existing seawall or bulkhead, at a fraction of the time and cost.
Geotech Division Manager