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Securing the road to the Philippines’ newest pilgrimage site

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A new rockfall system has helped secure the damaged slope along the roadway to the world’s tallest statue of the Virgin Mary.

With rocks and debris falling onto the main tourist route into MonteMaria, the Philippines, the 30-metre slope above the road needed to be permanently secured. This was achieved with a combination of our Steelgrid and MacMat rockfall solutions.

Located at the southernmost tip of Batangas Bay, MonteMaria is set to become the Philippine’s most prominent pilgrimage destination and place of worship thanks to a new eight-hectare construction project. The centrepiece of the site is the Mary, Mother of All Asia monument, the world’s tallest statute of the Virgin Mary, which is set to attract thousands of visitors each year.

Access to MonteMaria is via the Dela Paz Batangas City road, a busy national highway used by locals and tourists visiting beach resorts and coastal areas. Heavy rainfall has led to several cases of rock and debris falling onto the road, putting motorists at risk and causing closures and delays. Construction of the new pilgrimage site has also put additional demands on the road. To tackle this, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) sought a permanent engineered solution to prevent further debris and rocks detaching from the slope.

We worked with the project’s chosen contractor to design a suitable active rockfall system, proposing a combination of Steelgrid HR 30 and MacMat 12.1 to secure the 30-metre soil and rock slope. Installation began with clearing the loose debris and vegetation from the slope. MacMat erosion control geomat was then secured to the slope to protect it against superficial erosion. Next, 5,000 square metres of Steelgrid-reinforced drapery net was attached, using five-meter anchors spaced at intervals of two metres. We worked closely with the contractor throughout the installation phase, providing on-site technical advice and installation guidance.

Completed in October 2018, the site will soon be fully vegetated to reflect the natural beauty of the surrounding coastal area.

To find out more about Maccaferri’s innovative rockfall systems, contact us.

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