Introduction: Bulkhead Erosion Control Fix
This project came to be out of love. My mother's house had a very bad erosion problem in the backyard causing settling issues. This led me to determine that the erosion had to be prevented and must stand the test of time. Her neighbors had the same issue so this turned out to be a very large project in order to fix the erosion everyone was having. Some neighbors already had cracks in their floors.
Step 1: Planning
I determined the dimensions and marked each property line for the turnbacks. I figured out the material list for each property. I picked up the material I could and had the rest delivered. Then I got to work.
Step 2: Installing the Posts
On average the distance of the property was 50 feet. I spaced the posts out between 4 to 5 feet between each one. I tried different methods from using a post hole digger, an auger and eventually a jetting method using a high pressure water stream to move the dirt in order for the posts to sink. The jetting method was the best method for this application because the majority of the posts were in the water. I created my own using some plumbing pipes and fittings with a high pressure hose nozzle that attached to a hose. I used a string line and level to make sure the posts were in the correct placements. A crowbar and a digging bar helped to make slight adjustments. I made sure the posts were embedded 2 to 4 feet into the dirt/mud. Some of the posts had debris that had to be removed.
Step 3: Installing the Boards
The bottom board had to be jetted into the mud and secured with stainless steel screws. Each board was cut in order for the ends to land on a post. After the first board was secured the rest went in much easier. All boards secured with stainless steel screws.
Step 4: Installing the Top Plate
After installing all the boards on the posts I cut the posts. I used a circular saw and a reciprocating saw. I marked the lines with a speed square. When everything was flush I installed the top plate. I used 2 x 6's for the top plates. I cut a 45 degree angle where the joints connected and made sure each one landed on a post in order to screw them together. All screws where stainless steel.
Step 5: Installing the Deadmen
I used 4 x 4's for the deadmen. "Deadmen" help to anchor the wall in place when building a retaining wall. I used a post hole digger to embed them fully into the ground. Then I drilled a hole through them and installed the appropriate hardware. I used galvanized steel wire rope with turnbuckles, eyebolts and wire rope clips. I tightened everything making sure the wall was level and plumb.
Step 6: Installing the Drainage
I connected all the downspouts to drainage lines that went into the ground and out the wall. I used a hole saw in order to cut the 4" hole in the wall. I made sure the appropriate slope was on each line in order for the water to be able to drain out naturally. I also added a soil barrier between the wall and where the fill dirt was to go. I covered all the hardware as well going from the deadmen to the wall.
Step 7: Fill Dirt and Topsoil
I had fill dirt brought in and then used a wheel barrow to move it into the backyards. Nothing fancy here just a lot of back and forth. I used a water hose and tamper to make sure the dirt was being compacted. It also rained for several days which helped to compact everything. After the fill dirt was complete I brought topsoil in and used a wheelbarrow to bring it to the backyards.
Step 8: Sod
I had sod delivered and then went to work. When the sod was put down we used a sod roller to ensure the sod was making contact with the soil beneath. This is to help the root system form and penetrate the soil.
Step 9: Finished
The project is now complete. My mother and her neighbors were all very happy with the final product. Their erosion was stopped and they even gained square footage to their backyards.
Second Prize in the
Fix It Contest