What Is Bulkhead in Construction?

Bulkhead walls, also known as retaining walls, are structures designed to support and retain soil or other materials. These walls are commonly used in construction projects such as highways, bridges, and buildings to support the weight of the structure and prevent soil erosion. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about bulkhead walls.

Types of Bulkhead Walls

There are several types of bulkhead walls that are commonly used in construction. Some of the most popular ones include:

Gravity Walls

Gravity walls are the simplest type of bulkhead walls, and they rely on their own weight to support the soil behind them. These walls are typically made of concrete, stone, or brick, and can be used to support a variety of different structures.

Cantilever Walls

Cantilever walls are similar to gravity walls, but they use a reinforced concrete foundation to provide extra support. These walls are ideal for sites where there is limited space, and they can be designed to accommodate a wide range of soil types.

Sheet Piling Walls

Sheet piling walls are made up of steel or concrete sheets that are inserted into the ground to create a barrier between the soil and the structure. These walls are ideal for sites where there is limited space or where there is a need to create a temporary barrier.

Anchored Walls

Anchored walls are similar to sheet piling walls, but they use cables or other reinforcement materials to provide additional support. These walls are ideal for sites where there is a need for extra stability.

Benefits of Bulkhead Walls

Bulkhead walls offer several benefits to construction projects, including:

  • Soil stabilization
  • Erosion control
  • Improved drainage
  • Increased safety
  • Cost-effectiveness

Tabulated Bulkhead Walls

Type of Bulkhead WallMaterials UsedIdeal SitesBenefits
Gravity WallsConcrete, stone, or brickAny siteSimple and cost-effective
Cantilever WallsReinforced concrete foundationSites with limited spaceAccommodates different soil types
Sheet Piling WallsSteel or concrete sheetsSites with limited spaceTemporary barrier
Anchored WallsCables or reinforcement materialsSites requiring extra stabilityExtra support


Bulkhead walls are an essential component of many construction projects, and they offer a wide range of benefits. By understanding the different types of bulkhead walls and their benefits, you can make an informed decision about which type of wall is right for your construction project. Whether you are building a highway, a bridge, or a building, bulkhead walls can help ensure the stability and safety of your structure.