The use of Riprap is an effective method of protection used entirely from natural materials such as broken stone. This broken stone is sometimes called rock armor and is commonly used along the edges of a coastline separating the land from the water; protecting structures from erosion caused by the sea, river or other bodies of moving water; as well as the dissipate the potentially dangerous large waves that impact the coastline. You can also find these stone barriers along the edges of a road to protect not only automobiles from falling off an edge of a cliff, but to also protect debris from falling into the road.
The stones used for riprap are usually made from rock rubble resulting from large construction projects. If this rock debris were not put to use, it would simply end up in a landfill and be completely wasted. Some homes, especially in Las Vegas have even begun to use these stone armor barriers as both protection and landscape decoration. Some stones are a beautiful color, shape and design and they make great a great residential and commercial property barrier. If your property is in need of protection from water, wind, even automobiles, you always have the choice of using riprap as a defensive barrier.
In Topanga Canyon, California, January 9th, 2005, a devastating mudslide took place and it was reported that there was at least one confirmed death due to this horrible act of nature. As a result of the mudslide, a large boulder fell from a mountainside and as it rolled down the cliff, it destroyed the beautiful natural forest landscape. This rolling boulder that was dislodged from the mountainside was 300 tons or 600,000 pounds! When the boulder finally crept to a complete stop, it ended up on the road, the only two way road through Topanga Canyon blocking traffic for miles.
The city officials called in a crew of workers to remove this enormous boulder from the middle of the city, in the middle of the road. But how were they to do it? The boulder was too heavy to lift and the machinery that would be able to transport the boulder would not able to fit down the single two way road. Finally, after an intense session of critical thinking, the crew decided to demolish the boulder by breaking it into pieces. After the boulder was destroyed and transformed into dust and rubble, the crew was now left with 600,000 pounds of rock debris. The workers and the city had a great idea to use this debris as riprap along the edges of the Topanga Canyon road not only because it would be too costly and time consuming to remove the debris, but it would protect future falling rock from reaching the road as well as help to stop automobiles from falling of an edge. To this day, if you drive through the curvaceous roads of Topanga Canyon, you can still see pieces of this actually beautiful, marbled red stone boulder. Riprap is a great earth friendly way to create a natural and effective protective barrier.
Soil-Tech is an environmental Land Reclamation and preservation company based in Las Vegas. Through its Color Mitigation, Dust and Erosion Control and Native Resources divisions it is able to provide complete solutions for environmentally sound construction needs of any scale. For more information, visit www.soil-tech.com.