Design and Performance Evaluation of a SemiFlexible Snow Barrier for Avalanche Protection

This project will provide valuable information on the design and performance of a lightweight, easily constructible snow supporting structure for avalanche starting zones, to be used for the purpose of avalanche risk reduction near transportation facilities within the State of Wyoming. For many decades, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) has managed the danger to motorists traveling on roadways adjacent to known avalanche paths using active defense measures. These measures typically require winter maintenance staff to forecast potential for avalanche activity and when the probability of slides becomes significant, enact road closures and use artillery or explosives to artificially release avalanches. If crews are successful in triggering a slide, snow-moving equipment is brought in to clear the debris before the road is reopened. This approach requires immense personnel resources and carries the inherent risk involved with detonation of artillery/explosives. The alternative to active control is passive, avalanche starting zone constructed defense that operates stand-alone with no need for WYDOT staff during winter, and that virtually eliminates danger to the traveling public in mountainous areas.


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    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $138781
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Federal Highway Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Wyoming Department of Transportation

      5300 Bishop Boulevard
      Cheyenne, WY  United States  82009-3340
    • Project Managers:

      Yount, Jamie

    • Performing Organizations:

      InterAlpine Engineers

      Sedona, Arizona  United States  86336
    • Principal Investigators:

      Hewes, Joshua

    • Start Date: 20160913
    • Expected Completion Date: 20161231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01612645
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Wyoming Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: RS09216
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Oct 3 2016 12:27PM