Current Practices in Rock Scaling

Rockfalls occur frequently along many Kentucky roadways and pose a risk to the traveling public. They result from the chemical and physical weathering of unmaintained aging exposed rock cuts. KYTC’s go-to practice for mitigating rockfalls often requires substantial excavation, procuring additional right of way, and/or hiring specialty contractors. A new approach is needed to maintain rock cut slopes and preserve the safety of motorists. Many DOTs have adopted rock scaling as a cost-effective rockfall mitigation tool. Rock scaling entails removing loose and unstable rocks from rock cut slopes within the right of way to reduce the risk of rockfalls. It typically involves the use of hand operated pry bars and picks to remove unstable material, but mechanical means can be incorporated if necessary. Slopes are usually accessed by a small team of qualified individuals on foot or using rope access, or by telescopic boom lifts and crane baskets.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $200000
    • Contract Numbers:

      SPR 22-628

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

      200 Mero Street
      Frankfort, KY  United States  40622
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Kentucky, Lexington

      Kentucky Transportation Center College of Engineering, 176 Raymond Building
      Lexington, KY  United States  40506-0281
    • Principal Investigators:

      Ashurst, Kean

    • Start Date: 20210701
    • Expected Completion Date: 20230630
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01781445
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: University of Kentucky, Lexington
    • Contract Numbers: SPR 22-628
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Sep 8 2021 11:04AM