Using Shallow Anchors and an Anchored Mesh System for Cut Slope Protection in Ice-rich Soils

Abstract and project information last updated: 12 March 2013. Project updates are dated below.

Xiong Zhang (UAF)

US Department of Transportation (RITA)

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

1 July 2008
End Date
31 December 2012


Permafrost soils present special problems to builders of roads and other transportation infrastructure in Alaska. When a sloped bank in a permafrost area is cut to make way for a road, the soil may thaw and slump or collapse. Six years may pass before vegetation re-stabilizes the slope. During this time, erosion increases and extends the damage, often making roadways hazardous with mud and landslides. Builders have tried many strategies for slope stabilization, some more effective (and more expensive) than others. One strategy is to use wire netting held in place by soil anchors, but there is little information on how this approach performs in Alaska’s frozen, shallow, silty soils. This project, in partnership with ADOT&PF, investigates how shallow anchors perform in frozen soils. Project outcomes include designing an anchored wire mesh system to protect and stabilize ice-rich cut slopes. Soil sampling is finished, and anchor field tests and numerical simulation analysis will be done over the next year. The findings will be useful to other types of mitigation strategies, including highway retaining walls and addressing rockslide areas.

Related Project Activity

14 July 2011

Use of Shallow Anchors in Frozen Ground

by billy.connor

The attached documents outlines the progress to date on the project “Using Shallow Anchors and and an Anchored Mesh System for Cut Slope Protection in Ice Rich Soils.  The completed work includes laboratory creep tests for ice rich Fairbanks Silt.  The results show that current methods of predicting creep may be unconservative.

The upcoming work includes creep test in the Permafrost Tunnel near Fairbanks, Alaska.  The work will include comparison of three types of anchors.  The anchors are expected to be installed in mid-August.

Shallow Anchors in Ice Rich Soils_July 13 2011