Slope Stabilization and Repair Solutions for Local Government Engineers

Principal Investigator(s):

David Saftner, Associate Professor & Depart. Head, UMD-Civil Engineering


Project summary:

The purpose of this project is to create a user-friendly guide that focuses on locally-maintained slopes requiring reoccurring maintenance in Minnesota. This study addresses the need to provide a consistent, logical approach to slope stabilization that is founded in geotechnical research and experience and that applies to common slope failures. Authors used input from Minnesota county engineers, case studies from site investigations throughout the state, and a parametric study of slope stability modeling parameters to develop stabilization recommendations. The project, beginning in September 2015, consisted of four primary research phases. In Task 1, researchers identified slopes for further analysis via a survey sent to each county engineering department in the state. Responses provided site investigation locations. Researchers conducted site investigations and developed case studies to analyze slope stabilization methods. Task 2 involved performing a literature review to identify slope stabilization methods. In Task 3, laboratory testing characterized soil properties from case study sites. Additionally, limit equilibrium method (LEM) models were developed for each slope to investigate different stabilization methods in a parametric study. In Task 4, modeling and analysis results were summarized for distribution to local government engineers. The target audience of the guide is county or local municipal engineers who do not have specialized geotechnical engineering experience. The research does not address slope stability issues of the scale that require local municipalities to hire geotechnical engineering specialists. Authors intend the deliverable to assist with efficient stabilization of common recurring slope failures along roadways.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2016011
  • Start date: 05/2015
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Erosion control, Maintenance