A Platform for Proactive Risk-Based Slope Asset Management

PI: Andrew T. Metzger (UAF)
Co-Investigators: Pedro Arduino (UW), Michael Olsen (OSU), Armin Stuedlein (OSU), Joseph Wartman (UW)
Dates: 05/16/2012 – 10/13/2014
Final Project Report: PacTrans-2-UAF-Metzger

Unstable slopes, including landslides, rock falls, and debris flows, present significant risk to safety and regional commerce and represent a chronic concern for highway mangers. Due to the widespread spatial and temporal distribution of these problems, most states have, or are taking, measures to manage slopes along their highway alignments. However, given the physical nature of slopes along highway corridors, they pose a number of challenges when deciding where to allocate funds as well as from an overall asset management perspective. This is compounded by the level of effort currently required to survey, inspect and characterize slopes for the purpose of condition assessment. Slope assessment has traditionally been laborious and costly, but altogether necessary due to the potential consequences of a failure. Current best-practices for management do not necessarily facilitate proactive slope management — identifying and remediating hazardous conditions before a failure occurs.

The objective of this project is to develop a platform that will facilitate an objective programming of DOT resources for rock-slope assets within highway corridors. This platform should take the form of an administrative tool that will enable highway owners to make informed decisions on how best to program resources related to rock-slope inspection and remediation. The platform will be risk-based. That is, implementation of the products of this project will help qualify/quantify the level a risk a rock-slope poses to the highway corridor customers (users) based on the current condition and importance metrics of the corridor.

PacTrans-UAF-Metzger-Andrew-Project Update-2012-M-0002