Slope Stabilization and Repair Solutions for Local Government Engineers

A study is needed to determine cost-effective methods of stabilizing slopes along Minnesota's locally maintained roads. It is important to evaluate the locally available materials and equipment, as well as stabilization methods available to local engineers. The main objective of the proposed study will be to recommend slope stabilization methods for given site conditions common along Minnesota's roadways. The proposed project will recommend simple, cost-effective methods of stabilizing at-risk slopes in Minnesota. There is currently no guide designed for local engineers to improving slopes of the scale typically seen along roadways. Therefore, slope failures, especially after heavy rain events, block roads, pose safety hazards, and introduce preventable maintenance costs. While there is no single stabilization method appropriate for all situations, several methods, including improving drainage, changing the geometry of the slope, and reinforcing the soil, have proven effective. This project will use state-of-the-art methods of slope stability analysis, including limit equilibrium methods (LEM) and finite element methods (FEM), to investigate recent slope failures in Minnesota and selected slope failures from outside the state. Each case history will be investigated, applying slope stabilization methods that are cost-effective and practical, given locally available equipment and materials. This study will produce a report detailing common causes of slope failure and methods of stabilizing slopes considering local site conditions including soil type, hydrologic conditions, slope geometry, drainage conditions, and other important factors.