Gabions. Gabions are rectangular baskets or mattresses made of galvanized, and sometimes PVC-
coated, steel wire in a hexagonal mesh (Figure 32). Subdivided into cells of approximately equal size,
standard gabion baskets are 3 feet wide and are available in lengths of 6, 9, and 12 feet and heights
(thicknesses) of 1, 1.5, and 3 feet. Mattresses are either 9 or 12 inches thick. At the job site, the baskets
are unfolded and assembled by lacing the edges together with steel wire. The individual baskets are then
wired together and filled with 4- to 8-indh diameter stones. The use of interior liners or sand bags for
small size material is not recommended. The lids are finally closed and laced to the baskets, forming a
large, heavy mass (Figure 33).
The chief advantage of a gabion revetment is that construction may be accomplished without
heavy equipment. The structure is flexible and maintains functional integrity even if the foundation
settles. Gabions can be repaired by opening the baskets, refilling them, and then wiring them shut again.
Depending on the local supply of stone, a gabion revetment can be a low cost option.