Colorado DOT Making Moves to Create Safer Highways for Truck Drivers

Via Roads & Bridges

The Challenge:

When it snows in Vail, Colorado, it’s a skier’s dream—but for drivers, especially of trucks maneuvering steep mountain roads, it can be treacherous. To make things safer, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) wanted to widen I-70 at both sides of mountain pass locations to allow trucks to pull off and safely chain-up their wheels.

To widen the road, they needed a retaining wall separating the main road and the adjacent frontage road. However, there wasn’t enough space between the two to install a small block retaining wall due to the required length of geogrid.

Aesthetics were also very important, as Vail is known as a scenic town. They wanted a look that would blend in with the natural surroundings.

The Solution:

Sean Chiang, Ph.D., P.E., of Ground Engineering Consultants explained the solution like this: “A retaining wall was required to support heavy truck loads, resist potential guardrail impact, and accommodate pavement sections and a curb/gutter behind the wall. The Redi-Rock PC System with freestanding blocks at the top course was the best option for all these requirements.”

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