Rock Slope Cut Engineering

South Berwick, ME

Stephens Associates Consulting Engineers (SA) provided geotechnical engineering for subsurface investigation, evaluation, alternatives analsyis, design and construction for a rock cut slope in southern Maine.

SA managed a complex, multi-phased, subsurface investigation program in steep, difficult-access terriain, and used an optical televiewer (downhole camera) to capture a continuous image of the inside of each borehole and assist in identification of rock joint orientations.

We evaluated rock slope stability for various slope configurations in consideration of the measured rock joint orientations, laboratory test strength results for intact rock and rock joints, site groundwater levels from observation wells, failure mode, and structural support.

We estimated costs and schedule for the alternatives based on discussions with local specialty contractors and published unit costs, and evaluated the impact of the alternatives on stormwater permitting. We designed the rock slope cut and prepared drawings and specifications, with goals of reducing risk of slope instability while balancing construction cost and site impacts, including drainage, observation wells, rock supports, rockfall protection, and rock excavation requirements.

SA observed construction of the rock slope and associated components on-Site for conformance with our design drawings. During construction, we evaluated rock conditions and joint orientation for comparison with design assumptions, recommended rock anchors where needed to stabilize rock blocks, and consulted with the Owner on rock slope-related issues.