A New Design Approach of Roadside Cut Rock Slope Based on Ecological Environment Protection

Rock Engineering 2009 - Rock Engineering in Difficult Conditions
TAO Lian jin, ZHANG Li, Wei Yun jie,
Abstract With fast development of China modernization, road construction obtains great achievement. However, in the construction process of highway, especially the high-grade highway in mountainous area, there are many unavoidable high cut slopes. Specifications for Design of Highway Subgrades, China, prescribe that the design scheme of slope with height more than 30m should be compared with bridge scheme and tunnel scheme economically. In spite of the existing guidelines, it is still quite common to see many high slopes due to engineering geological conditions, highway line shape, cost and issues related to traditional design ideas. Actually the traditional way with “high backfill, the high cut” for mountainous highways seriously damages the original ecological environment and groundwater system, especially to those area with weak ecology, where the damage is unrecoverable. It is quite common practice to use artificial vegetation for cut slope virescence, however it still has problems such as low ratio of survivor, high maintenance cost and lack of species diversity. Now people are more and more aware of the importance of ecological environment, it becomes urgent to decrease the damage to ecological environment after ensuring the stability of high slopes.
With the aim to reduce ecological damage, we proposed a new design approach which is ecological environment friendly by decreasing cut slope height with steep excavation scheme. This approach requires that (1) the geological condition is good, and the rockmass can be sTable itself; (2) excavation should not badly damage the rock, which means blasting must be controled by using buffer blasting, smooth blasting and pre-splitting blasting; (3) if local geological condition is not very good, excavation should have intervals for one bench, the advised space is 20m; (4) to ensure the slope stability in construction process, the cut slope should be reinforced more strongly than usual and in time. Finally, the deformation of the slope and the working condition of the reinforcement structure should be monitored to ensure the slope stability. The new design is used to a roadside cut slope of provincial trunk highway S223 in Guangdong Province. Based on intensive geological investigation and borehole tests, it is found that the slope rock mass is intact and sound, and the rock strength is quite high. Results from numerical modeling by UDEC reveal that compared with the traditional design scheme with 90.23m high slope, the steep scheme with only 23.46m high is characterized by its relatively large deformation and stress concentration, however the influenced area only appears at the upper slope and tends to sTable. With cable reinforcement, the stability of slope excavated steeply can be guaranteed. Deformation of the slope and the cable force are monitored in details in the period of construction, which show that the deformation of the slope decreases gradually and the final deformation is very small, and the cable tensions change small after the cables were tensioned. It is optimistically estimated that the steep slope should be sTable during operation. Comparison analysis between the steep scheme and the common scheme affirms that the steep excavation is better than the traditional scheme in terms of ecological environmental effect, slope height, the excavated amount, the excavated quantity of slope surface, engineering cost. It is concluded that if geological condition permits, the steep cut scheme should be used with better benefits.
Keywords: Rock slope, steep excavation scheme, ecological environment protection, Stability analysis
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