Heavy rain triggered a landslide or debris flow that destroyed a 30-meter span of a bridge on the A6 motorway between Savona and Turin on November 25. Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries or fatalities. Societa Iniziative Autostradali e Servizi SpA, known as SIAS, manages the roadway where the bridge collapsed and said it was carrying out investigations to assess the situation.
The Mt. Soledad Landslide in a La Jolla California neighborhood destroyed 3 houses and damaged others and it also shut down Mt. Soledad Road for an entire year after it occurred in October of 2007. Residents blamed the city of San Diego, and 65 homeowners filed suit, claiming that leaking pipes caused the landslide and the City should cover damages.
Last week, a superior court judge ruled in favor of the City of San Diego. So far I have not seen anything indicating if the residents plan to appeal the ruling.
One interesting note regarding the trial, the City released an 8-minute cell phone video taken by a geotechnical engineer or drilling contractor employed by the City that showed the road cracking and buckling just prior to failure. The homeowners used the video to try to make their own case. Click through for a portion of the video and a link to the full one.
Geotechnical Engineering Challenges of British Columbia’s Sea-to-Sky Highway, gateway to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games
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.