Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 8/9/2016

need some company to build lake's shorline's bulkhead.

build shoreline bulkhead with big rocks.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

3 Answers


need a shorline bulkhead with boulder.

Answered 3 years ago by mimitoshaki


OK - when talking to people about this project, don't say "bulkhead" - that implies a "seawall" or "retaining wall" image to contruction/regulatory people - a built structure. You are actually talking (unless you mean large rocks embedded in a solid concrete wall) about erosion protection or slope protection using riprap - large rocks over finer filter bedding rocks over filter fabric, typically.

Google says despite the street name, you are on the Spokane River - bad news because tht is a navigable river, so you are talking full-blown permits, including from the Corps of Engineers, to build anything in the floodplain there.

What you need is (not an Angies List category) a consulting engineering firm that does waterfront development plans and permitting - to help guide you through the probably about 6-15 permits needed from building, planning and zoning, Corps of Engineers, likely EPA, Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife, etc. and to do the actual design, which of course the affected agencies ALL have to approve.

Obviously not knowing the size or exact conditions where you are, but typically $5-10,000 engineering fees alone ASSUMING none of the agencies significantly object, and probably about 8-12 months permitting time before you can go to contract - more if it has to go out for public comment or needs an environmental assessment rather than just a FONSI (finding of no significant impact). Plus typically several to ten thousand $ in fees and permit investigation/processing costs.

Dock Building and Repair for a physical structure, or an Excavation company is the Search the List Category for this job - for some odd reason in the Services rather than the Home Improvement section. Or a specialty marine construction company.

Construction cost of course up in the air, but let's just assume a steep riprap slope say 6 feet on the slope from top to bottom, which can commonly run about $250-1000/LF - don't know if you were thinking that much money.

On the permitting, having played this game a number of times and also having been in a Corps office at one time - if you can sacrifice the land to the river, is a LOT easier to get the permits if you build the "wall" or dump the material on or in a trench which is currently outside the normal banks of the river so it will not be touched by normal high water UNTIL the bank erodes to reach the slope protection material. For instance, building a bank protection project in the active river area is a major permitting hassle and commonly denied on the basis it will affect the course of the river, but building a levee mattress or a few foot thick layer of riprap over pit spalls over extra heavy duty filter fabric lying on the ground OUTSIDE the current river bank can be much simpler, albeit perhaps partly blocking your view of the river if the house is not elevated. Then that construction just happens to be undermined by the river as it eats away at the river bank, and it slumps down onto the collapsed bank to become erosion protection to halt further encroachment. Same result (after losing a few feet more bank to the river) but potentially much easier to permit, depending on where the active bank is relative to the extreme (commonly 100 to 1000 year) flood level - but because it was there BEFORE the river eroded to that point, is considered much less of an impact - sort of like if mother nature had put a talus pile or some bedorck there to stop the river.

Of course, the protection design is a bit different in the two cases and depends a lot on existing soil conditions (silt, sand, gravel, talus slope, bedorck, etc), but getting a local (probably Spokane) firm with a lot of experience in both waterfront design and permitting and who knows the agency players can make all the difference between a go and a no-go, or worse yet, a violation from EPA or the Corps for potentially thousands of $ a day for a Clean Water Act or Wetlands violation until it is removed and remediated. Heard of one case on another river a year or so ago where a $5000 DIY bank erosion project on a fishery sensitive protected river ended up being roughly a million $ in fines and reconstruction and remediation cost to the landowner - who after that probably no longer had $ or the land, plus the state and federal agencies gang up to duplicate the fines for each violation so you get double whammied. So don't try to sneak it through without proper permit approvals.

BTW - on the design - you can't just dump a layer of big rocks and expect it to work - the riprap (top layer) has to be large enough to not be washed away in the design flood nor be plucked away by river ice, then has to be underlain by proper gradation of stone and gravel and/or filter fabric to prevent washout of the native material through the large voids in the riprap. use just a layer or two of large stone and you will still get significant flow and eddying at the original ground surface, which can erode it away and cause your expensive (commonly $250-500/CY) rirpap to just settle into the river bank.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



This is James in Member Care. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List! I noticed you posted this question twice, but wanted to follow up here as well in case you didn't see my first response.

I see LCD was able to provide you with some great information. I would encourage you to continue conversing with him if you have any further questions or need anything clarified, as he is considerably knowledgebale on a variety of topics.

I apologize that we don't have that type of speciality service on the List at this time. If you have any questions about Angie's List or if we can help in any other way, please let us know.

You can join by visiting or by giving us a call. Our call center is available 8:00 am-9:00 pm weekdays and 8:00-5:00 pm ET on Saturdays. Make sure you ask our Member Care Team about our new membership options! We are open from 8am to 9pm on Mondays through Fridays and until 5pm on Saturdays. Our phone number is 888-944-5478.

Thanks for your question and we look forward to assisting you!

Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy