AUTC project number: S16899
Unstable slopes, including landslides, rock falls, and debris flows, present significant risk to safety and regional commerce, and present a chronic concern for highway managers. Due to the widespread spatial and temporal distribution of these problems, most states have, or are taking, measures to manage slopes along their highway alignments. However, given the physical nature of slopes along highway corridors, they pose a number of challenges when deciding where to allocate funds as well as from an overall asset management perspective. This is compounded by the level of effort currently required to survey, inspect and characterize slopes for the purpose of condition assessment. Slope assessment has traditionally been laborious and costly but altogether necessary due to the potential consequences of a failure. Current best practices for management do not necessarily facilitate proactive slope management — identifying and remediating hazardous conditions before a failure occurs.