Falling boulders or rockfall pose a serious hazard to traffic in both direct impact and in rock debris. Three new kinds of barriers for protection against rockfall were developed by the Colorado Department of Transportation for use during construction of Interstate 70. A program of prototype testing, numerical simulation, and analysis of barrier response were employed in the development of the three barriers, including a suspended pendulum system that attenuates the kinetic energy of falling boulders, a flexibly mounted fence of steel cables and mesh, and a free-standing mechanically stabilized earth wall. These barriers are useful alternatives to ditches, berms, rigid fences, and rigid walls for highway protection. This paper describes the barriers developed in Colorado, explains the analytical and simulation tools used in the development process, and provides additional information on testing and development programs for rockfall barriers.


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  • Accession Number: 00712764
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 26 1995 12:00AM