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Crow Wing County Reconstruction

Garrison, Minnesota

Shoreline Stabilization


Crow Wing County Highway Department Design


Progressive Consulting Engineers Inc.


North Pine Aggregate Anderson Brothers


September 2009

Technical Description:

  • Product: ArmorFlex® Class 40
  • Area: 3,032 sy

Because there are over 400 lakes in the Crow Wing County area of Minnesota, it is known as the “Region of Thousand Lakes” or Brainerd Lakes. In fact, nearly 14% of the total area is water. The water and beauty of the area attracts many tourists looking to participate in fishing, swimming and canoeing in the summer and snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter.

Crow Wing County State Aid Highway 10 (CSAH 10) follows along the Shore of Bay Lake and is surrounded by commercial resorts and private cabins. The road embankment was in danger of failing due to erosion caused by the wave action as well as ice heave action in the winter and spring. A product was needed to stabilize the shoreline.

After considering the options, Crow Wing County and Progressive Consulting Engineers Inc. chose to utilize ArmorFlex articulating concrete block (ACB) systems in lieu of competitive products. ArmorFlex was chosen for many reasons including its quick and easy installation, the open cell nature which allows for future vegetation growth and the interlocking blocks which allow the water to be channeled in between the blocks. It also creates a more manageable slope than can be achieved with traditional riprap for residents that access the water from CSAH 10. Moreover, ArmorFlex was the only product certified by MNDOT as a dry cast erosion block supplier.

Challenges faced during this project included determining how to install the ArmorFlex mats along the curve of the bay, rather than a straight stretch. The mats also needed to be installed 5-ft. into the water and up to 3-ft. in depth. North Pine Aggregates met these challenges by excavating a trench at the staked offsets prior to keying in the fabric and ACB.

“We are very happy with how well the installation of ACB went and the improvement made to the lakeshore and highway” states Mark Melby, Engineering Coordinator with the Crow Wing County Highway Department.

In addition, the Crow Wing County project won the 2010 Minnesota Concrete Masonry Association (MCMA) Award under the “Special Concrete Masonry Project” category. MCMA utilizes this award program to promote the use of concrete masonry products.


Technical Description:

  • Product: ArmorFlex® Class 40
  • Area: 3,032 sy

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