RESEARCH PAYS OFF: COLORADO ROCKFALL STUDIES

The construction of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, Colorado, highlighted the problem of rockfalls and was ideal for conducting rockfall research. Rocks falling from steep slopes, natural cliffs, or rock cuts can be free-falling, bouncing, or rolling, or can fall in some combination of these ways. The velocities and bounce heights of falling rock must be estimated to design effective protective measures. Geologists with the Colorado Department of Highways (CDOH) found that these estimates could be determined by computer simulations. CDOH, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, provided funds to develop a simulation program. Field testing and calibration studies were part of the development process. The Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program (CRSP) can be used to predict rockfall bounce height and velocities. Simulations determine the severity of the rockfall hazard and help develop criteria for designing mitigation measures. Three new, relatively low-cost mitigation devices have been developed that have already produced savings and have enhanced the safety of motorists and the integrity of highway facilities in Colorado. CRSP has also proven critical to communications among geologists, managers, owners, landscapers, and others--a function that may prove most beneficial of all.

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Publication Date: 1991-5

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 20-21
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 154
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00610176
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1991 12:00AM