About the Author

 

Linda Robinson

Articles by Linda Robinson

A Piece of the Puzzle

| Long-time football coach Vince Lombardi once said that the greatest accomplishment isn’t in never falling, but in rising again after you fall. Cleveland, OH, a city once known for industrialized manufacturing and a major hub on the Cuyahoga River, experienced a fall of sorts in 1969 by way of river fire. The fire that would ... READ MORE

Revegetating With Soil Amendments and Native Seed

| Both natural events and those caused by human activity can cause extreme and far-reaching disturbances to our ecosystems. Mitigation is often required to restore and revegetate natural plant communities if we hope to stabilize them. Recreation has caused an increase in human activity in many areas, increasing the demand for the resources necessary for corrective ... READ MORE

Sweeping Their Way to Clean Water

| In 2013, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) in Idaho received a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase I permit. The shared permit authorizes stormwater discharge for the cities of Boise and Garden City. ... READ MORE

Options for Dust Control

| EPA has a commonly accepted statement on dust: “One car making one pass on one mile of dirt or gravel road one time each day for one year creates one ton of dust.” It doesn’t have a comparable statement regarding horses, but a similar calculation might be possible. ... READ MORE

Rehabilitating Stormwater Pipe

| In the booming 1990s, Orange County took a close look at its growing—and aging—water infrastructure to make decisions about maintaining and upgrading it. They decided to contract outside their own stormwater department for making the repairs to the system. The Stormwater Management Division in Orange County has been through many changes since then. Today it employs approximately 104 different technicians, engineers, equipment operators, foremen, and inspectors, who are jointly responsible for the planning, operation, and maintenance of unincorporated Orange County's storm and flood drainage systems. ... READ MORE

It’s in the Wind

| EPA has a commonly accepted statement on dust: “One car making one pass on one mile of dirt or gravel road one time each day for one year creates one ton of dust.” It doesn’t have a comparable statement regarding horses, but a similar calculation might be possible. ... READ MORE

From Rooftop to Shoreline

| Most people going about their day are not aware of the many uses of geosynthetic materials around them. Certainly back in the 1950s and ’60s, few people could envision how widespread these materials’ use would become, from the filter fabric protecting a storm drain to the underlayer of permeable pavers to a tubular structure helping to stabilize a shoreline. ... READ MORE

When the Job Site Has No Set Perimeters

| Construction projects that fall into the category of being “linear” include those that don’t have or adhere to a set grid or perimeter. Utility projects such as pipeline renovation or installation are commonly linear. Power and cable utility towers that will be on an irregular piece of ground, as well as rail and highway projects, are all classified as linear. ... READ MORE

Erosion Control Methods for Steep Slopes

| Huge projects like the widening of US 202 in Pennsylvania span several years and several seasons. Stormwater and erosion control is an important part of the planning process, and a variety of soil erosion control devices play a role. Changing topography and limited highway easements sometimes result in steep slopes which present unique challenges for stormwater and erosion control and mitigation projects. ... READ MORE

Catching Up

| In the 1940s, two former music hall entertainers, Marcel and Nelly Tilloy, purchased an estate in France's Rhône ­Valley, and by 1952 they had created Relais and Châteaux, with eight hotels and restaurants between Paris and the French Riviera. Today, the association has more than 520 partners around the world. ... READ MORE

Changing Land Surfaces With Retaining Walls

| Retaining walls have become the modern-day structures of choice for us to manipulate the surfaces on which we choose to build our lives. From creating more buildable space on a site, to helping stabilize bridges, they are ubiquitous workhorses that are often easily overlooked. But sometimes they take their inspiration from unusual sources. ... READ MORE

Challenges of Rehabilitating Stormwater Pipe

| Orlando, FL, is home to Cinderella's Castle. It's where 17.2 million visitors pass through the gates to Mickey's house annually. Upon its opening in 1971, Disney World hosted some 10,000 visitors, all of them happy to pay the $3.50 admission to the Magic Kingdom. Today, that same admission price is upwards of $97. ... READ MORE

Mats, Concrete, Blocks, and Rocks:
The Lowdown on Riprap

| This article first appeared in the July/August 2002 issue of Erosion Control. Since the beginning of time, people have found ways to use rocks as tools. The first rock tools probably were used for hunting. The use of rocks to help reinforce ditches probably was not seen until irrigation agriculture had been practiced for quite some ... READ MORE

Geosynthetics—Past and Future

| It was a series of storms in north Florida in 1957 that led Robert J. Barrett, along with engineers from the University of Florida, to develop the first genuine geosynthetic material. It was used to protect the beaches from erosion. Barrett, president of Carthage Mills who would later become known as the “father of filter ... READ MORE

How to Make a “Floating Road”

| Robert Barrett of Carthage Mills went on in the late 1970s to join forces with the US Army Corps of Engineers in the development of geotechnical fabrics. From their tests in Mobile, AL, fabrics for architectural designs and construction on soft soils were developed, and a whole new frontier was opened for the future uses ... READ MORE

Geosynthetics—Past and Future

| It was a series of storms in north Florida in 1957 that led Robert J. Barrett, along with engineers from the University of Florida, to develop the first genuine geosynthetic material. It was used to protect the beaches from erosion. Barrett, president of Carthage Mills who would later become known as the “father of filter ... READ MORE

Channel Stabilization and Repair Along Streambanks

| Channel stabilization and repair along streambanks and other waterways usually calls for the use of a channel lining. Safeguards fall into two major categories—soft and hard. Soft armor, also referred to as flexible or green techniques, consist of grass or vegetation that is established with the help of erosion control blankets, turf reinforcement mats, or ... READ MORE

Channel Stabilization and Repair

| The case studies in this article focus on channel stabilization and erosion control along streambanks and other waterways. Channel stabilization and repair usually calls for the use of a channel lining. These safeguards fall into two major categories—soft and hard. Soft armor, also referred to as flexible or green techniques, consist of grass or vegetation ... READ MORE

Channel Stabilization and Repair

| The case studies in this article focus on channel stabilization and erosion control along streambanks and other waterways. Channel stabilization and repair usually calls for the use of a channel lining. These safeguards fall into two major categories—soft and hard. Soft armor, also referred to as flexible or green techniques, consist of grass or vegetation ... READ MORE

The Practical Permeable Paver

| One of the goals set down by Furman ­University and Southern Living magazine when they began brainstorming the showcase home called Cliff's Cottage was sustainability on an everyday basis. They wanted to demonstrate total sustainability while educating people on how to put the technology and practices to use in their everyday lives. ... READ MORE

Erosion Control Methods for Steep Slopes (Part 2)

| When sheet runoff from a major highway created gullies and rill erosion problems along Rutherford Road just east of Highway 27 near Vaughan, ON, aggressive erosion control methods were needed. Fortunately, the timing, along with a little help from Mother Nature, helped quickly stabilize a critical slope in in August 2011. Previously installed riprap was ... READ MORE

Advancements in Geotextiles and Silt Fence Sediment Control

| In Part 4 of this concluding series about sediment and erosion control products and site-based applications, author Linda Robinson researches a Tennessee highway widening project to present the latest sediment control methods utilized at construction sites. In the final segment, our  Erosion Control  writer introduces the Staged Release Silt Fence (manufactured by Silt-Saver) and illustrates its applications in a case study described within the following transportation infrastructure construct... ... READ MORE

Advancements in Geotextiles and Silt Fence Sediment Control

| In Part 4 of the concluding series about sediment and erosion control products and site-based applications, Erosion Control author Linda Robinson researches a Tennessee highway widening project to present the latest sediment control methods utilized at construction sites. ... READ MORE

The Ditches That Made Magic

| Visitors to Twin Falls, ID during the summer months find it much cooler than the original pioneers of the 1800s would have. Streams and ditches meander through the town, which is lined with yellow irises and cattails. They cool the air and provide trees and shade to take breaks from otherwise sweltering summer days. Some measure several feet both across and deep, while others are barely noticeable. But what visitors to the Magic Valley don’t know is that most of them are part of a manmade irrigation system constructed in the 1900s, financed by a team of private investors. ... READ MORE

Saving Faces

| In most cases, it would be the rare day at work for employees to have to rappel down steep slopes to get to their job site. But that is exactly what Jerry Kallam, vice president of business and development at L&M Supply Co., encountered when he visited the Ecuador airport project in Quito. In addition to the employees, the company’s products and tools had to be moved the same way. But the challenges didn’t stop there. Winds surging at 60–75 miles per hour across the slopes picked up the fine granite-like soil particles, and sand blasted everything it came in contact with. ... READ MORE

Silt Fence Applications in Separating Contaminated Sediments

| In Part 3 of this continuing series about sediment and erosion control, author Linda Robinson discusses the importance of preventing contaminated sediment from entering a Lake Michigan tributary with stormwater runoff. The silt fence and other sediment and erosion control devices showcase best management practices during major dredging operations of contaminated soil in an effort to improve the water quality of the Grand Calumet River. Getting the Upper hand on Sediment (Part 3), by Linda Robinson Speci... ... READ MORE

Silt Fence Applications in Separating Contaminated Sediments

| In Part 3 of this continuing series about sediment and erosion control, author Linda Robinson discusses the importance of preventing contaminated sediment from entering a Lake Michigan tributary with stormwater runoff. The silt fence and other sediment and erosion control devices showcase best management practices during major dredging operations of contaminated soil in an effort ... READ MORE

The Measurable Parameters Behind Soil Conservation Methods

| Before planning and implementing site-specific soil conservation methods, project designers, field specialists, and construction contractors should possess a basic understanding of the soil loss equation and its parameters, which author Linda Robinson explains in “Getting the Upper Hand on Sediment.” Launched as Part 1 (below) in a continuing series, our author explains the sediment control ... READ MORE

Methods in Construction Site Sediment Control

| In Part 2 of this continuing series on the topic of sediment control methods at construction sites, author Linda Robinson discusses a highway widening project that manages sediment and erosion control in order to protect the water quality of a nearby stream. During the widening of the existing roadway and the installation of a new ... READ MORE

Methods in Construction Site Sediment Control

| In Part Two of this continuing series on the topic of sediment control methods at construction sites, author Linda Robinson discusses a highway widenting project that manages sediment and erosion control in order to protect the water quality of a nearby stream. During the widenting of the existing roadway and the installation of a new culvert system, project site managers worked to prevent construction-related debris from entering the stream as a sediment release and runoff. Continue the segment below a... ... READ MORE

Mats, Concrete, Blocks, and Rocks:
The Lowdown on Riprap – Part 3

| Idaho’s Rural Use of Riprap In rural areas, including parts of Idaho, rock materials are readily available from quarries, farms, and construction sites. In the changing landscape of the rural and urban interface, used concrete continually is being torn out and recycled in landscapes. Rock is used, often with willow and cattail plantings, to stabilize ... READ MORE

Mats, Concrete, Blocks, and Rocks:
The Lowdown on Riprap – Part 2

| In California, the Department of Public Transportation (Caltrans) sets specifications for using hard armor. Rock used for slope protection should exhibit stability, durability, and consistency. It should meet the specifications of the Army Corps of Engineers or Caltrans, with the supplier having no rejected loads due to any inferior materials. The other specification, of course, ... READ MORE

Inlet Protection During Construction—and After

| Water—a simple molecule of one oxygen and two hydrogens, with such a simple design. It’s the very structure of water that makes it strong enough to force boulders loose on a hillside. By water’s polarity, water molecules attract more water molecules and soon the long branched “polymers” are strong enough to make marvelous memories for honeymooners at Niagara Falls, or disastrous ones for families in Japan. ... READ MORE

Saving Faces

| Extreme Airport Construction In most cases, it would be the rare day at work for employees to have to rappel down steep slopes to get to their job site. But that is exactly what Jerry Kallam, vice president of business and development at L&M Supply Co., encountered when he visited the Ecuador airport project in Quito. In addition to the employees, the company's products and tools had to be moved the same way. But the challenges didn't stop there. Winds surging at 60-75 miles per ho... ... READ MORE

Inlet Protection During Construction and After

| Water-a simple molecule of one oxygen and two hydrogens, with such a simple design. It's the very structure of water that makes it strong enough to force boulders loose on a hillside. By water's polarity, water molecules attract more water molecules and soon the long branched "polymers" are strong enough to make marvelous memories for honeymooners at Niagara Falls, or disastrous ones for families in Japan. Still, water is not alone. It doesn't create all this havoc without having an ac... ... READ MORE

Getting the Upper hand on Sediment

| We live in a world of acronyms and equations. A world where letters are used for numbers and WOW upside-down is good old MOM. For instance, if the QSP or PE recommends HERO, he may inform the LRP. And that's just the tip of the iceberg in the world of engineering-whether civil or environmental. It often sounds like teenagers' secret language. One crucial acronym for many in the industry is USLE, the universal soil-loss equation-the result of decades of research and data, some of which ... ... READ MORE

Mats, Concrete, Blocks, and Rocks: The Lowdown on Riprap

| Since the beginning of time, people have found ways to use rocks as tools. The first rock tools probably were used for hunting. The use of rocks to help reinforce ditches probably was not seen until irrigation agriculture had been practiced quite some time. Slowly people began to find many uses for rock: building a dam to help back up water or a berm to divert and direct the flow. But when did they begin to realize that the cutting action of water against bare soil or sand was a significant phenomenon? ... ... READ MORE

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