Anyone ever built stairs into a river??

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mcfetrid, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. mcfetrid

    mcfetrid LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 6

    I was recently received a call to do an estimate for a customer that lives on a large piece of land that includes a pretty serious river. What he wants me to do is build him a patio on the bank above the river and then a rock staircase from the top of the bank down into the river. From the bank to the river is about an 8 foot 90 degree slope. The problem is that when it rains the river raises up all the way to the top of the bank, which would cover the stairs completely in water. Anyone have any ideas on how to build the stairs so they wont be swept away in the floods? Appreciate your help...Matt
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    You may want to check with your local Corps of Engineer Dept. and Building Depts. They may not even allow you to disturb the river bank without going through a bunch of BS paperwork and permits.
  3. rick2752

    rick2752 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Just a thought, but if the front of each step was inset flush with the hill that might hold them. How large of stones are you gonna use? When we built a set we stacked each stone on top of the other, just farther back. I would think if you use pretty big rocks(300lb or bigger) and stacked them they would hold as long as the hillside did. I would most definitly get disclaimer signed though that you are not responsible for acts of mother nature!!
  4. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    run away quickly from this one. Too many environmental concerns.
  5. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    As long as your equipment is not in the river (much like the 'feet wet' immigration policy), you're likely ok. Ive done two things on my property: one of which required a water resources permit and walk through - the other didn't. The stairs did not need a permit because I had the equipment on the bank and I was in the water hauling and wrapping the chain and positioning the granite. The result was lovely until the flood of 1997 when a few of the smaller steps washed upriver (yes, I live where the rivers flow North). Rebuilt it with larger stones and have had no problems since (nor have we had a flood as bad since, either)
  6. blkberry

    blkberry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Don't even look at it without the appropriate engineering firm to help with all of the possible problems!!!!! :dizzy:
  7. Mark A

    Mark A LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I happen to know a company in Eureka Springs and Berryville Arkansas that did an unbeleivable wall along a river. They did everything your talking about and a great deal more. The company name is Johnsons Landscaping or he may have changed it to Johnsons Nursery. His name is Lowell Johnson. I beleive they have a website. If you do some searching you will probably find it.
  8. Grounds Control

    Grounds Control LawnSite Member
    from 01748
    Messages: 52

    i'll throw this out there......

    you may want to tie the stairs into the earth with geogrid and use fabric to help with water (erotion)
  9. memich

    memich LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2

    HI Kate, would you have any photos of your river steps. We have a cabin in WV and need to do something similar this summer
  10. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Here's the pic of my waterstairs.


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