Drone Video Footage Helps Washington State Engineers Monitor Unstable Rock Slide Area

Via AASHTO Journal

When part of a steep hillside gave way March 13 in southwestern Washington and emptied debris onto part of State Route 503 near Woodland, the Washington State Department of Transportation needed to assess slope conditions before trying to clear the road.

So engineers sent up an aerial drone, which delivered video (below) that helped showed how unstable the hillside might still be.

The next day, the department issued a press release saying: "Due to heavy rainfall, the slope continues to move and there is concern of additional rocks and debris falling." It added that using a drone, "WSDOT geotechnical engineers inspected the hillside and are working to develop a permanent repair."

Not that it would be quick, since engineers had to wait on weather and would need to determine if the project would require slope stabilization work to make the area safe as well as debris removal to just get the lanes open again.

On March 17 the department issued another update, warning area drivers to expect detours "throughout the spring," as conditions remain too unstable to begin repairs.

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