A rockfall barrier, previously installed in a remote place above a major highway in the mountains of Colorado, had been repeatedly impacted and the state department of transportation was uncertain of its remaining functionality. GeoStabilization’s Rockfall Remediation Technicians (RRTs), utilizing rope-access techniques, conducted a thorough inspection of the barrier and validated the maintenance actions required to bring it to its original service condition. They found the barrier fully loaded along the southernmost approximately 150 to 200 linear feet (LF) and the double-twist mesh ruptured in localized areas; presenting a significant hazard to the roadway below. The RRTs then scaled the immediate vicinity of the work area to ensure safe work conditions, patched the barrier in the areas of localized rupture, and performed hand-scaling where the fence was overtopped.
GeoStabilization then worked with the DOT’s engineers to evaluate enhanced mitigation methods for the site that included fully scaling the area around the barrier, hydro-scaling the slope, or installing a new larger barrier below the existing one. Once the choice was made to install a more substantial barrier, our RRTs installed it to the manufacturer’s specifications.
In June, GeoStabilization received a phone call about 7:30 am that KY 221 had slipped down the hillside creating a large drop in the pavement.