The Watershed Protection Department of the City of Austin is enthusiastic about cellular confinement technology. Though only recently added as a favorite system in their problem solving toolkit, this technology has been applied with dramatic success by in-house personnel in designing and building a 22 foot retaining wall to reinforce an eroding streambank. West Bouldin Creek makes a 90 degree turn at South Sixth Street in Austin which focuses erosive forces on the outside bank of the stream adjacent to the roadway. These focused flows had caused undermining of the more than 20 foot high embankment, and emergency repairs had to be effected before the roadway was impacted. Designers wanted the repair to incorporate a long term solution which could resist these erosive pressures without sacrificing the natural creekside appearance. For this application they chose the GEOWEB Cellular Confinement System over the more conventional gabion basket design.
The GEOWEB Cellular Confinement System design was developed by department engineering staff with product support by SSPCo and preliminary design assistance by Presto Products Company. A sand colored face provided for a natural appearance during revegetation. Perforations in the interior cell walls enabled lateral movement of water out of the interior, and wall batter was designed to accommodate native shrub plantings of sufficient size to speed revegetation.