Restricting Rockfalls

by Richard D. Andrew, Project Geologist; Colorado Geological Survey, Denver, CO,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 10, Pg. 66-67

Document Type: Feature article


Predicting and controlling rockfalls has always been a high priority in Colorado, where many mountainous roads pass through hazardous rockfall areas with extensive and highly variable slopes. During construction of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon, these conditions, along with the need to minimize the environmental impact of rockfall mitigation procedures, led to the development of the Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program (CRSP). Using data from past rockfall events on and around the I-70 improvement project and extensive field reviews, engineers from the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado Geological Survey developed a database to rank rockfall-prone areas. CRSP was used to analyze these areas and assist in determining the most suitable mitigation system. As a result of this study, we have developed three inoovative and economical methods for controlling rockfalls: (1) the tire attenuator, (2) the flex-post fence and (3) geosynthetic-reinforced rockfall barriers.

Subject Headings: Landslides | Highways and roads | Mountains | Traffic safety | Slopes | Construction management | Canyons | Environmental issues | Colorado | United States

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