Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 50-13. Design, Estimation, and Contracting Rock Slope Scaling Adjacent to Highways

Scaling loose rocks from slopes adjacent to highways is a simple and effective measure for temporarily reducing the risk of rockfall potential on naturally occurring bedrock outcrops and highway rock/soil cuts. Removal is typically done by hand using pry bars or with mechanical assistance such as jacks, hydraulic splitters, air pillows, or heavy machinery. In some cases, trim blasting techniques are considered as part of a scaling program. Slope access is generally accomplished by personnel on foot and by rope access; however, telescopic boom-lifts and crane baskets are also used. Scaling is typically done after sudden or prolonged rockfall activity. However, with the aging of the nation’s highway system, there is an increasing need to address long-term weathering of constructed and natural slopes along highway corridors. The required frequency of scaling depends on the slope characteristics, geology, rock structure, local climate, performance expectations, consequences of rockfall impacts, and budget availability. The objective of this synthesis is to document current practices for rock slope scaling adjacent to highways. The scope includes documenting methods used by state departments of transportation (DOTs) for: determining whether to scale or not; estimating scaling and debris removal quantities and cost; contracting, and; assessing performance. Information will be gathered through literature review, a survey of DOTs, and interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Knowledge gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 50-13

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Gause, Jo

  • Start Date: 20180910
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01669010
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 50-13
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 14 2018 3:04PM