I don’t know about you, but I’ve been enjoying watching the 2010 Olympic Winter games over the past few days. If you have, you know that Whistler is the venue for many of the sports including alpine skiing, luge, skeleton, bobsled, ski jumping, biathlon and cross-country skiing among others. The Whistler area is located about 50-miles or so North of Vancouver. In order to get to Whistler, you need to drive along Highway 99, better known as the Sea-to-Sky Highway. This highway has a long history of geotechnical problems, including some significant structurally controlled rockslides and landslides. In the years leading up to these Olympic Games a fair amount of work was done on the highway with some significant geotechnical innovations.
Death toll in NW China landslide rises to 23 – China Daily Italian Team Repairing Collapsed Head-Race Tunnel at Ethiopian Dam – ENR: Engineering News Record OSHA Cites Company Following Trench Fatality – KPVI NEWS […]
A massive rockslide closed a busy interstate route last week near the border between Tennessee and North Carolina in Pigeon River Gorge. This area has had landslide problems in the past. In 1997 a rockslide in the same area closed the freeway for approximately 3 months. (Photo from Landslides Under a Microscope Blog, original source not cited)
I have yet to see volume estimates, but The Charlotte Observer quoted a highway patrol officer who was at the scene:
He said the roadway is covered by a gigantic mound of debris, from pebbles up to house-sized boulders. The pile is 40 to 50 feet high, Williamson estimated, and hundreds of feet long.