Linear Project Routing & Slip Prevention

By: Triad Engineering

By: Ben Campbell, PE and Carol Phillips, Senior Scientist 

Selecting a right of way (ROW) for linear projects such as highways and pipelines is a complex and important part of your project. Routing linear projects must take into consideration numerous factors including land use, landowner constraints, buffer zones, ecological & cultural resources, project size, project type, and method of construction. Post construction slips result in costly and timely permitting, construction, and geotechnical issues. Slips are typically on steep slopes and side cuts and are generally caused by saturation from weather, saturation from damaged drainage patterns, soil compaction, and vegetation with shallow root systems and poor cover. Some typical causes of slips include:

  1. Construction in poor soil types and fragile slopes
  2. Groundwater pressure acting to destabilize the slope
  3. Loss of vegetation, soil nutrients, and soil structure
  4. Erosion of the toe of a slope by waterbodies
  5. Weakening of a slope through saturation by precipitation
  6. Weakening of a slope due to improper drainage
  7. Deforestation and removal of deep-rooted vegetation
  8. Earthwork that alters the shape of a slope or imposes new loads on a slope
  9. Construction that changes the amount of water that infiltrates the soil

Triad can assist in ROW selection and routing of linear projects to reduce and avoid landslide prone areas, which may reduce the risk for slips post construction. Due to the location and nature of our work, geohazards such as poor soils and steep slopes cannot always be avoided. Because of this, we can identify areas with high risk potential and plan for them during the routing process. Our team utilizes our combined knowledge of regional geology, ROW planning, engineering design, site restoration, and construction oversight to limit the risk of slips on linear projects. We excel at linear project planning and follow through to construction completion.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our professionals, contact Morgantown@triadeng.com or 304-296-2562.