Riprap, What Is It and Why It Is Important

Erosion and scour, which are commonly caused by swiftly moving water and waves, can wreak havoc on our environment, compromising our bridges and roadways and resulting in property damage and beach loss. So how do we keep ourselves safe and protect our environment? Riprap is an innovative solution to these invasive and potential dangerous problems.

No, it’s not music, but riprap is important to our East Coast. Riprap, also frequently referred to as shot rock, rubble or – even more aptly – rock armor, is a material used to protect our shorelines and streambeds and so much more.

Riprap is a durable, natural looking way to “shore up” foundational supports, bridge abutments, and steep slopes, protect spillways and keep our ocean, lake and river shorelines intact – a necessity here in Florida.

Riprap, which is often comprised of concrete block, is used mostly on embankments and around structures which are continually exposed to rushing water to lessen the effects of that force. What better way to use recycled concrete from building and pavement demolition than to protect our buildings and roads, am I right? 

Advancements, incorporating cement to create a mortar-like material, have also been made in riprap. This improved riprap saves money, increases stability, lessens permeability and only about two-thirds of the amount of material is required to complete the same task.