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Securing hazardous slopes in Sochi

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A new rockfall system is providing effective, eco-friendly reinforcement of landslide-prone slopes

To protect landslide-prone areas along the Dzhubga–Sochi highway and prevent debris from falling from the crumbling slopes, we provided high-strength Steelgrid rockfall drapery mesh – an eco-friendly solution than can be easily installed on slopes without removing any trees.

Mountainous areas present a high probability of dangerous geological processes, which makes surrounding infrastructure highly vulnerable. One such problem is rockfalls – the uncontrolled detachment of rock from a solid block slope.

Along the A-147 highway, which connects Dzhubga with Sochi, near the border of the Republic of Abkhazia, there are 18 hazardous areas with steep crumbling slopes along a length of more than 2,000 metres. Landslides in these areas pose a serious threat to highway traffic. On the section of highway close to the village of Tyumenskiy, for example, between five and ten landslides damage cars each year. In some cases, falling rocks weighing 15 to 16 tonnes have been recorded.

To prevent loose rocks from falling onto the road in these hazardous areas, high-strength Steelgrid rockfall drapery mesh has been installed. A reliable solution for stabilising weathered slopes, this system is constructed as a uniform, double-twisted steel wire mesh, with high-strength steel cables woven into it. The benefit being that the steel cables take the main load, increasing the strength of the structure. Even if one link breaks, the double-twisted steel wire mesh does not become loose; it simply drapes over the slope, and any falling rocks and debris accumulate at the foot.

The Steelgrid HR system was installed by contractor NPO Geostroy (a limited liability company), who weaved 8.2-millimetre steel cables into the mesh, with a 150-centimetre step. In total, they installed 86,000 square metres of drapery along the highway’s slopes.

Thanks to the light weight of the drapery (2 kg/m2), the highway’s slopes could withstand the additional weight of the mesh without any trees being removed, making it a more eco-friendly and aesthetic option than traditional slope cleaning, where all trees are cut down.

To prevent the mesh being damaged by rocks rolling down the slope, specialists from NPO Geostroy reinforced the steel wire mesh at the foot of the slope with another mesh layer. And to aid the extraction of accumulated rocks, the cable at the foot of the slope was fixed with eye nuts, while the wire mesh was sealed in three sections, making it more convenient for future use.

Steelgrid rockfall drapery mesh is manufactured at our plant in Kurgan, as per TU 1275-003-42873191-2013. All structural elements have an anti-corrosion coating. If necessary, the wire can be additionally coated with PVC to increase its resistance to harsh environments. Each product batch undergoes thorough laboratory testing and is accompanied by a quality certificate.

Our engineers use specialised MACRO software for load calculation and for selecting the drapery system type. This software enables calculations to be made for both simple drapery and drapery with additional anchors, and allows selections for mesh type, length, diameter and anchor system reinforcement.

Contact us for help with choosing the optimal rockfall drapery protection for your project.

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