Maccaferri’s Rockfall barrier successfully mitigates the perils of rockfall problematic alongside the GC 210 National Highway in the Canary Islands.
Rockfall protection and rockfall mitigation are principal elements in the security and safety of infrastructure, mine works, buildings or people. Even small rockfalls or debris flows can block support and can have far-reaching economic effects beyond the immediate disruption. This also applies to buildings or other installations at risk of damage from rockfalls, avalanches or debris flows.
In May 2010-August 2010, Maccaferri completed yet another Rockfall Barrier protection project in collaboration with the client Ring Canarias. To elaborate further, GC 210 is a national highway in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (Spain).
Along the road, between the local municipalities of Tejeda and Artenara, there are slope instability problems. The road’s massif consists of different lithology materials that are eroding in a differentiating way due to multiple atmospheric agents. The erosion process, in combination with the geomorphological structure, has given rise to various episodes of instability, all of which are related with the escarpments of differential evolution. More specifically, as the soft materials suffer from erosion, small caves and or big rock strata are formed. Environmental influences, in conjunction with the preexisting discontinuities, have caused block’s isolation–a condition that threatens road safety. In fact, the road has been closed in order to prevent civilians from being harmed due to severe happenstances of rockfall.
Maccaferri was hired by Ring Canarias–both the client and contractor of the project–to provide a solution designed to prevent both erosion and subsequent rockfall. The technical solution adopted by Maccaferri Iberia to ensure the protection of the road was to install a rockfall barrier. The aim of the restriction is to intercept and retain potentially unstable rocks located at the top of the escarpment. The Maccaferri team carried out a detailed investigation involving both the analysis of the most dangerous trajectories and the calculation of energy. Ultimately, Maccaferri installed an 80 m long x 6 m high, 8600 KJ barrier.
This solution consists out of a rockfall barrier formed by posts, upslope bracing cables, energy dissipating devices and an interception structure formed by a ring net which is at the same time reinforced by an hexagonal double twisted wire mesh. This barrier, made in Italy by Maccaferri and installed in the building site by the specialist company Ring Canarias, has ETAG 027 compliance (Falling Rock Protection Kits).
By fulfilling this standard, the solution thus provides class 8 regarding the energy level, and category A for achieving an extra barrier height higher than 50 % of the nominal height after the crash test. This project marks yet another case history of successful rockfall mitigation via Maccaferri’s engineered and customized solutions.
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For further technical information, please download the Case History.