Driving cross country or even from state to state is a great way to experience the natural world that surrounds us. As you carve the towering mountain ranges and dive through the sloped valleys, take notice of how construction workers and architects were able to build the road. It seems that with some roads, especially the ones connecting California to Las Vegas, what was required was the destruction of an entire mountain before laying down the road. The methods of construction these technicians use seem almost unbelievable and even miraculous. But in all actuality, without advanced architectural design and strategy these roads could not have ever been built and traveling across the United States would not be as easy and comfortable as it is today.
When you drive through a mountainous area, it can seem a bit concerning because it seems as though the jagged rocks above can collapse at any time. By using Rock slope Protection methods; the chance of any mountain debris falling onto the road is greatly decreased. These protection methods use chicken wire or other types of netting systems to hold together rocks, soil and vegetation that make up a part of a mountainous edge. This netting is used only on the part of the mountain that is directly adjacent to a road with traffic. With time, the netting system will strengthen and solidify the mountain edge while permitting vegetation to continue to grow. The netting comes in various material types; to more easily mold, shape or form the netting to the mountain surface; as well as an assortment of different colors so that the netting material can blend more naturally into the surrounding landscape for visual aesthetics. Rock Slope Protection is a less complex method of protecting people and property from damage that may occur as a result of rock fall. However, there are more sophisticated scientific methods of protection that are available as well.
Rock Slope Stability Analysis studies the potential paths of the falling rocks and its trajectories. The data required to determine the rock fall, is the shape of the fragmented rock, the roughness of the mountain slope and the likelihood of the falling rock to deform or lose its original shape as it builds kinetic energy. Rock slope stability analysis can be used to help construct a more effective rock barrier or riprap. By having data of the precise estimate of how rocks will tumble down a mountainous edge as well as the force of impact these rocks will have on anything that gets in their way, construction workers can know how strong to build their barriers.
So, the next time you take a road trip, admire the feats of human technology and applied science noticeable simply through the designs of our roadways. Rock Slope Protection and Rock Slope Stability Analysis are two sides of the same coin, one simple and effective, the other complex and precise – both of which help to protect not just our lives as we travel, but our comfort and ease of transportation as well.
Soil-Tech is an environmental restoration and preservation company based in Las Vegas. Through its Color Mitigation, Dust and Erosion Control and Native Resources divisions it is able to provide complete solutions for environmentally sound construction needs of any scale. For more information, visit www.soil-tech.com.