Landslide mitigation work completed alongside Badrinath road in Uttarakhand; all you need to know

A rockfall embankment having 320 meters length and 10 meters height has also been constructed that will protect the road from the direct impact when debris and rocks fall.

Hilly regions of Uttarakhand are prone to landslides and much devastation has been seen due to this phenomenon in the last one year that cost lives and property. In order to mitigate the risks, the union road and highway ministry sought help to provide solutions and partnered with civil engineering solution provider, Maccaferri. The solution has now been implemented as the Maccaferri completes the construction of reinforced soil wall on NH-58 passing through Lambagarh, Uttarakhand. This is also the road that leads to the Badrinath shrine. To be sure, for many years extreme weather events as well as man-made factors have been causing heavy loss and damage to infrastructure. Whenever a landslide occurs during monsoon season, it causes disruption to traffic and also holds up devotees for days in a particular region, restricting further travel.

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The solution implemented by the government in partnership with Maccaferri is expected to “counteract the destabilizing forces in the restricted space” and further improve the safety as well as quality of the road in the region. According to a press note released by Maccaferri, the project involved constructing a reinforced soil wall having a maximum height of 44 meters. This was to be supported with gabions as a facia and high strength geogrid. The construction was to be done across a stretch of 500 meters. To be sure, gabions are cages engineered from double twisted hexagonal woven steel wire mesh.

Apart from this, a rockfall embankment having 320 meters length and 10 meters height has also been constructed that will protect the road from the direct impact when debris and rocks fall. Moreover, the company has also constructed a flexible pavement under this project.

According to the company, the project construction was not easy and there were two major challenges that Maccaferri had to face during construction. The first difficulty was completing the project during a limited construction working period of 5 months in a year. Due to the monsoon, snowfall or pilgrim’s rush for the shrine, the timeline for construction activities in the area remains to five months only. Apart from this, the second key challenge, as per Maccaferri, was to “keep the existing narrow road open and to ensure a smooth and safe flow of traffic during the project construction.”

Vikramjiet Roy, Managing Director of Maccaferri India said that the construction of the reinforced soil wall in Lambagarh region proved to be an economical solution as well as contributed to a low carbon footprint. The main reason behind this was that the stones as well as backfill material used for construction were locally sourced. Going forward, it is expected that the reinforcement of the soilwall will reduce the impact of landslides.

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