Slopes and Embankments

The stabilization of slopes and embankments is a particular challenge in engineering. As for all structures in geotechnical engineering, the design of slopes and embankments especially depends on the ground and groundwater conditions. In rock, the orientation and the appearance of joints are of a decisive importance.

If it is possible considering the available space, embankments can be designed and constructed in an economic and stable manner by means of flattening or construction of a friction toe. It is often useful to drill drainage holes in order to lower the groundwater table. If required due to local conditions, retaining walls, which may have to be tied back by anchors and tendons respectively, can be constructed.

Systematic anchoring of slopes and stabilization of larger sliding volumes by means of tendons and pre-stressed anchors respectively are also considered to be possible measures for safe and economic support of slopes and embankments. For artificial slopes also the use of geosynthetic reinforcement can be advisable (reinforced soil).

Protection of roads, railway lines or other structures located at the toe of slopes and embankments against falling rocks can be achieved for example by the installation of mats and/or the construction of catchment ditches. It can also be useful to stabilize potential rock wedges directly by means of anchors.

The design of embankments must also consider aspects of landscape architecture. Especially when dealing with soils which are prone to weathering, surface protection is extremely important to assure the long-term stability. Surface protection can e. g. be carried out by geotextiles, plants and shotcrete.

Embankments and slopes have to be monitored during the whole construction period and often throughout their entire life time (structure monitoring). This monitoring must include, amongst other things, the functionality of permanent anchors and drainage systems.

As an experienced engineering company WBI is able to assist and provide support to the clients concerning all these projects.

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