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Monday - July 05, 2010

From: Kenna, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Erosion Control
Title: Plants for bridge foundation erosion control in WV .
Answered by: Joe Marcus


There is a stream on my property that I must cross to get to my house from the road (stream is about 6 - 8 feet wide, with 5 to 6 foot banks). I've recently had to have the bridge repaired, and the contractor poured a lot of concrete down the stream bank where it had washed away from the end of the bridge. What is the best thing to plant on the bank to disguise the ugly concrete mass as well as help keep the bank from washing away when the creek floods? The creek is at the bottom of a west facing hill in a narrow valley.


The foundations of bridges are very important to the structural integrity and safe operation of the bridges they support.  You should consult with a structural or civil engineer about the foundation of your bridge to determine whether or not it is sufficient for the location and for the structure it's supporting.

If the foundation is adequate, then planting grasses and similar plants to minimize erosion is a good idea.  Grasses are most often prescribed for erosion control because of their fibrous and extensive root systems.  Native sedges and other grass-like plants are also very often useful in situations like yours.  The specific plants you use will depend on local conditions.


More Erosion Control Questions

Erosion control for a North Carolina creek side
February 29, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I noticed a question on your website recommending NC native grasses and plants to help prevent erosion on a sloping backyard, including the use of an erosion blanket. The pl...
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Native plants for erosion control in South Dakota
December 04, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I live in the Black Hills of South Dakota at about 5000 feet ASL. My house is on a steep hill. I had to clear a perimeter around my house of all the pine trees for fire supp...
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Erosion control on 30-ft. berms in Manor, TX
February 06, 2009 - The Austin Rifle Club has recently re stacked its over 30ft high backstops. We know their will be erosion to these earthen berms. We need some suggestions on what to plant. Our club is a traini...
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Plants for vertical cliff in Pismo, CA
July 11, 2011 - Need help with erosion control on an 80' steep to vertical, top-soil, south facing cliff, Pismo CA (central coast) area. Terracing not an option. Prefer native, colorful plants that will give the bes...
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Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
April 20, 2011 - Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The ...
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