Stevens Pass drivers can’t help but have a good view of the major rock scaling project near the ‘Old Faithful’ section of the highway. Crews have been busy clearing rock and trees from the road cut, sending thousands of tons of granite to the roadbed.
This slope stabilization work prevents loose rock from falling on the highway. Using a combination of rope access and man lifts, workers pry off offending blocks and drill large diameter expansion bolts into the granite, locking the cliff together. Steel cable netting is then draped over the road cut, deflecting future falling rock. The smell of cordite and rock dust thick in the air, it’s quite the show, but in the eyes of this guy, large scale Geo-work looks cool; big rock, big machines and big booms. a 12 year old kid’s dream job.
All this work appears to be quite dangerous at first glance, but a closer look shows that the workers and WSDOT carefully plan out and execute each step of the job to prevent the obvious life threatening consequences of a mishap. Having personally worked in the high angle rope access industry for years, I can vouch that hanging from a rope high off the ground and doing hard labor is no picnic.
Good job WSDOT and Golder Associates, thanks for the hard work and keeping the highway safe!
For more road and highway information go to: WSDOT