States Intensifying Efforts to Reduce Highway Landslides

by Ronald G. Chassie, (A.M.ASCE), Geotechnical Engr.; Soils & Rock Mechanics Branch, FHA, Washington, D.C.,
Roger D. Goughnour, (M.ASCE), Chf.; Soil & Rock Mechanics Branch, FHA, Washington, D.C.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 4, Pg. 65-66

Document Type: Feature article


A recent survey by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) shows the U.S. is presently spending $50,000,000/yr to repair major landslides on the Federal-aid highway system. The total cost of all landslides on all U.S. highways is at least $100,000,000. Most of these landslides could have been avoided had a preliminary soils investigation been made before routing the highway. Water is either the controlling factor or a primary contributing factor in 95% of all cases. Accordingly, drainage is the most effective means for preventing and/or controlling landslides. The most common correction methods are (1) Slope flattening and drainage; (2) buttress with drainage; and (3) removal and replacement.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Highways and roads | Landslides | Routing (transportation) | Slopes | Surveying methods | Drainage systems

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