Tales from the River Bank

Wednesday, 07 October 2015

Road builders need to make Deltalok part of their winter survival strategy - especially if they're responsible for highway repairs in a low-lying area.
By Mike Johnson
Wednesday 7th October 

 

Are you responsible for highway building and repair in a low-lying area?

Whether you work for a council or in the private sector, chances are you dread the UK's wet winters, when high water levels and freezing temperatures combine to undercut the banks of streams and rivers.

Anywhere a track or road runs close to a watercourse, winter erosion will be a problem. If chunks of the bank are allowed to fall away, they will take out adjacent sections of road surface. Narrowing lanes constrict traffic, leading to further damage. In just a few weeks of rain, even a small stream can render a popular route impassable. Effective early repairs are a must.

Erosion control for river banks is nothing new, of course, and you probably have your own repertoire of slope stabilization solutions. We think you should put Deltalok at the top of that list. Here's why:

1. Deltalok is great for hard-to-access jobs Carrying out a repair in flood conditions is hard enough. If you have to transport heavy plant and materials to the site, it becomes a logistical nightmare. Unlike gabion baskets, Deltalok bags are designed to be filled on-site and positioned by hand. Unfilled, they weigh less than a mail sack and take up a minimum of space. That makes them an ideal resource for rapid-response teams working in difficult areas.

2. Deltalok is an easier way to build No one's saying that putting on waders to rebuild the bank of a stream in freezing conditions will ever be easy! But filling and positioning Deltalok bags is certainly easier than building a retaining wall from concrete blocks. Faster, too. Your teams will quickly come to prefer Deltalok to other solutions.

3. Deltalok is permanent This is the 'too good to be true?' part. In many applications, Deltalok bags outlast harder structural materials. That's because Deltalok's unique geotextile fabric promotes native plant growth. The Deltalok 'living wall' will actually grow even stronger as root structures develop - and it's not prone to frost damage, either.

 Deltalok stream bank project after 3 months
Just three months after repairs, native vegetation is already taking root, forming a tough 'living wall' in this Deltalok stream bank.

The image above shows a recent Deltalok project at the wall of a stream in Devon just three months after the completion of winter repairs. You can clearly see how native vegetation is growing through the geotextile fabric, tying the bank into a 'living wall' - and providing invisible structural support for the minor road running above the stream. For more detail on this job and other successful Deltalok applications, visit our Case Studies page.