Case Study: Why This Shoreline HAD to Be Lakeshore Guys™ Tough
Anyone who’s seen a Lakeshore Guys riprap shoreline can appreciate the unequaled engineering and craftsmanship that goes into it. Still, some people ask us, “Is an ‘Armored Shoreline‘ really necessary? Can’t you build me a shoreline that’s just tough enough and save some money?”
An Armored Shoreline is the only shoreline up to the task if you live on a lake with heavy wave-action (like Lake Superior), or if your shoreline is on a smaller/calmer body of water and you just don’t want to take any chances with erosion.
Many customers know that intuitively, and our riprap shorelines’ overwhelming toughness is well-documented in our customers’ reviews. But one of our recent customers documented her Armored Shoreline’s toughness and calmness under fire better than anyone has – including us.
Susan owns a shoreline in Duluth, MN, on Lake Superior. In the fall of 2017, she hired us to fortify her shoreline against erosion. She had already lost 20 feet of shoreline following a massive storm earlier in 2017, and didn’t want to lose any more. Susan especially didn’t want the erosion to progress to the point that waves could hit her house or undermine her deck.
Here’s Susan’s shoreline after the big 2017 storm, before Lakeshore Guys did any work on it:
Doing nothing or trying a cheap or temporary “solution” would have been tempting. We told Susan the job would not be small undertaking, and indeed it wasn’t. Her neighbor (to the right) also hired us to fortify his shoreline, but to keep things simple we’re focusing on Susan’s shoreline today. (The other shoreline held up equally well – which you’ll also see in a few of the photos below.)
We built Susan an Armored Shoreline, and in doing so restored and protected the 20-or-so feet of shoreline that had been lost prior to our involvement. (Compare the position of the white fence in each photo, relative to the water.)
Here’s Susan’s completed shoreline:
Susan got much more than a beautiful new shoreline. Her intuition and timing were excellent, because the World’s Toughest Shoreline was about to be put to the test.
In October of 2018, about a year after the giant 2017 storm, an even-bigger “100-year” storm hit Lake Superior and devoured many of her neighbors’ shorelines. Susan saw the force of the waves, and wasn’t sure her shoreline would hold up. In an understandable panic, she took several videos on her phone and sent the videos to us. Although those videos were taken after the storm calmed down quite a bit, they still give you a sense of how powerful the waves were, and one can only imagine how much larger the waves were during the height of the storm.
Susan asked if there was anything to be concerned about, or anything she should do. We said no, other than remaining vigilant & covering up any exposed fabric (if any), we suggested that Susan simply kick back, and perhaps look at a neighbor’s shorelines for entertainment (e.g., the un-Armored shoreline to the left of Susan’s property).
We probably enjoyed seeing the videos more than Susan enjoyed taking them, because they show what kind of punishment a Lakeshore Guys Armored Shoreline can endure. And again, these videos were taken during the relative calm of the storm.
This 1st video mostly shows one of Susan’s neighboring shorelines (belonging to the folks who decided against having us fortify their shoreline). Susan’s Armored Shoreline enters the picture toward the end of the video (around 35 seconds in).
A 5-second summary of the kinds of waves that hit the shoreline constantly:
Here’s a view from the middle of the shoreline:
The best up-close view here. Notice how none of the stones even budges. (Goes to show how the strategic placing of smaller stones by hand is better than dropping larger stones in any old spot.)
Those videos show you how the shoreline held up during the storm. How did Susan’s shoreline look after the 100-year storm passed? Note: Susan’s shoreline is on the left, and our other clients shoreline (Charles) is on the right.
Yep, the same storm you saw in the videos. For an Armored Shoreline, it’s a day at the beach.
You can see a couple large pieces of driftwood, and you may notice some of the small stones that make up the “splash apron” are scattered near the deck. That’s the extent of the damage. A couple hours with a garden rake was all it took to clean up the scattered rock. Susan (and her dogs) did a walkthrough after our quick clean-up, and you can see how the shoreline itself held up. We simply raked up the turf for her, added a little riprap (for extra protection), and repaired some of the unprotected shoreline belonging to the neighbors who decided against an Armored shoreline.
You may also notice the bit of property that’s showing on the left side of the photo. That’s the neighbor’s unprotected property, which Susan showed in the 1st video. Didn’t hold up quite as well.
One more time, here’s the before, after, and “after-after” view:
Before Lakeshore Guys:
After Lakeshore Guys:
Whether you live on an intense lake (like Lake Superior) or a calmer body of water, you want an Armored Shoreline if you don’t want to take any chances with your shoreline property, and want to enjoy it and enjoy looking at it for many years to come. Contact Lakeshore Guys today for the toughest shoreline built by human hands.