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Why Choose Our Seawall Construction Services?

Looking for seawall construction in the Fox Valley/Oshkosh, WI area? No matter if you're a residential, business, or commercial coastline property owner, if you're looking into investing in coastline protection, then look no further than Radtke. Our team builds seawalls to enhance and preserve our precious coastline properties.


Benefits of Seawall Construction

  • These shoreline devices offer fantastic protection against eroding embankments and bluffs.

  • They also preserve and beautify your coastline property and minimize damage from unwieldy conditions.

At Radtke Contractors, our skilled seawall installers have been installing sea walls and other marine structures since 1976. We employ only the most experienced marine experts to assist with coastal management structures. To get started with your sea wall installation quote, please reach out to our seawall contractors at (920) 582-4114.

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What is a Seawall?

First, what is a seawall, and what is its function? A seawall is a coastal structure designed of concrete, masonry, or sheet piles. Seawall construction is typically built parallel to the shore. Investing in a professional seawall installation means that you will have a structure that protects the inland area against large waves and coastal erosion. Smaller seawalls for private residential areas add aesthetic appeal to your waterfront property. Read more about what is a seawall and why you need it in our article here.

Why Should I Invest in a Seawall for My Home Property?

If your home is on the waterfront, you will need a seawall prevent shoreline erosion from occurring. A seawall, while having an upfront cost, can be a worthwhile investment in the long run since it will help to prevent storm surges and erosion caused by wave energy. Seawalls can also help prevent flooding and property damage during high tide or heavy storms. Before making a decision, be sure to discuss the potential impact on the surrounding ecosystem with our seawall contractors and we'll help you determine the best solution.

Different Types of Sea Wall Installations

Whether vertical, curved or stepped in structure, a seawall serves as a wave-break and repels water with ease. Overall, there are four different styles of seawall structures. These include riprap, boulder, sheet pile, and concrete seawalls:


  • Riprap seawall construction – These seawalls consist of both large and small boulders, along with chunks of concrete. Riprap seawalls are a great choice for reinforcing the shoreline, preventing soil erosion in waterfronts wherever there is light to moderate wave action and high water levels – particularly during a thunderstorm. Riprap seawalls are an excellent choice for coastal protection.

  • Boulder seawall installation – These seawalls bare resemblance to the decorative rock walls you’ll see inland. These are aesthetically pleasing, constructed with large rocks and boulders, and are held together using mortar. A great choice for waterfront properties that have light to moderate wave energy.

  • Sheet pile seawall designs – This seawall is not as aesthetically pleasing as the other options mentioned here. Their primary purpose is to deflect waves and prevent soil erosion. During construction, a sheet pile seawall is anchored deep into the soil and is laid against the bank for additional support. This seawall design is good for moderate wave action and minimizing soil erosion.

  • Concrete seawall construction – These are massive seawalls that are constructed in areas where there are frequent, large waves and storm surges that would otherwise impact the shoreline. Seawall contractors build these concrete structures using large blocks of concrete that are poured into place. 


Vertical Seawalls

This type of seawall consists of walls that are constructed to stand straight up in the air. Usually made of steel or concrete, they are easy for construction workers to build. Vertical seawalls take the full brunt of waves, which means that they will wear down quite quickly.

As a result, vertical seawalls are the best choice for wherever waters are calm or the coastline is protected. A vertical seawall can easily stand against smaller waves without needing frequent repairs.

Curved Seawalls

Curved seawall constructions can redirect large waves without causing as much disturbance when compared with vertical seawalls. These large seawalls, which are typically constructed from concrete, effectively divert the energy of a wave, which causes less turbulence to the water around it.

Their ability to reduce the power of large waves means that they are the best choice of seawall when it comes to protecting coastlines.

Mound Seawalls

Mound sea walls are constructed of rock and concrete blocks and create a mound, which helps to reduce the force of waves that repeatedly hit the shoreline. A mound’s seawall’s purpose is to slow the momentum of the waves.

Mound seawalls are cheaper than vertical and curved seawalls.


However, they are not a good choice for exposed or high-energy shores. If a mound seawall is exposed to too much velocity, it will wear away faster and leave a ramp for waves.

Stepped Seawalls

A stepped seawall is a good option for shorelines affected by moderate wave activity. Typically designed with concrete, it is a highly effective choice for protecting the shoreline from damage.

Stepped seawalls redirect waves without causing as much disturbance as vertical sea walls. Stepped and curved seawalls may be constructed together, or a stepped seawall may be curved in shape.

Seawall Materials

Now that we have talked about the different types of sea wall installations, let's talk about the materials used. Seawall construction usually consists of the following materials:

  • Southern yellow pine

  • A galvanized steel tie beam system

The design of Southern yellow pine and the galvanized steel beam system is guaranteed to prevent soil from being pulled into the water and away from your waterfront property.

Installing seawalls with rock riprap to create a natural habitat for fish and other shoreline animals is very common. At Radtke Contractors, we also welcome the incorporation of any shoreline plantings or structures into seawall design, such as docks, wall decks, and boat lifts.

Seawall Construction FAQs

What are the different types of seawalls?

Seawall construction can be vertical, curved, stepped, or built-in mounds of rock, concrete blocks, and rubble. Each of these has their pros and cons, but each of them is effective against low, moderate, or high wave activity and help to protect your shoreline from eroding.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a seawall?

The advantage to a sea wall is that they protect the shoreline, base of cliffs, and buildings against water damage, coastal flooding, and erosion. The main drawback of seawalls include being expensive to maintain and can be an unattractive addition to a beach and take away from the natural surroundings on a shoreline.

What is the best type of sea wall?

Multiple types of seawalls are effective for low to high waves. However, the strongest and overall most effective type is a concrete seawall. Concrete is beneficial for larger seawalls, and can even be custom designed for aesthetic appeal.

What is the best wood to use for a seawall?

For a small residential or beach sea wall, you may opt for wood construction. The best type of wood to use for seawall construction is Southern Pine.

How to build a seawall?

There are a few steps to keep in mind when building a seawall. Step one is to survey the area, using a tape measure, notepad, and pad. During this step, you should research local regulations and obtain the proper permits, if needed. Conversely, a professional seawall building company can take care of surveying the area for you. Next, track the high water mark, which will help you know approximately how high your seawall needs to be and gather the appropriate tools needed for the project. Now, set the poles, pour the concrete, and install the lumber (if you've chosen wood), and fill in the land side. If you have questions, be sure to contact Radtke for help!

What is a rip rap seawall construction?

A riprap seawall construction is designed from rocks to defend coastal shorelines from waves and storm surges. Rip rap seawalls have many benefits, including looking natural, enhancing property appeal, being easy to maintain, blocking erosion, and being environmentally friendly.

What heavy equipment is used in construction of a seawall?

The types of equipment that's used in a seawall construction include the following: excavators for installation, pile driving equipment to install the seawall, barges for storing equipment, cranes, tiebacks, and welding equipment. The types of equipment used for a seawall installation may differ, depending on the type seawall being constructed.

Our Seawall Builders

Prevent erosion with a quality seawall construction! With decades of experience in the industry, our seawall builders are committed to quality. Our founders, Robert and Muriel Radtke, focused on three values: discipline, responsibility, and family. To this day, our seawall builders continue to uphold these three values.

At Radtke Contractors, we educate and train our employees with the latest industry knowledge to tackle any and every seawall installation project. You can rely on our seawall construction experts to provide only the best quality seawall construction services. Please read more here about our process of seawall construction to get an idea of what to expect for your personal project.

Contact our Seawall Construction Experts!

Have questions about seawall cost? Or are you looking for how to improve your existing seawall to protect your property? Give our company a call today at (920) 582-4114 or visit our contact page to contact us today to learn how your shoreline can be improved. We will help you understand the design process, discuss budget, and more!

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