Slope Stabilisation

Slope stabilisation techniques improve geotechnical performance or change the characteristics of soils. These techniques can be used in conjunction with piling or in isolation.

What is slope stabilisation used for?

Over time the earth moves, and slopes can fail, whether due to stress put on it from loads or lateral pressure such as traffic, or from natural causes such as heavy rainfall over a sustained period of time.

To retain soil in a natural unstable slope, or to prevent slope failures from happening, we utilise several techniques depending on the conditions of the ground.

When a slope failure occurs when part of the embankment sinks and the adjacent ground rises, creating a circular arc also known as a slip circle.

The ground stabilisation services we offer are:

  • Embankment Regrading – this includes the flattening of overburden slope
  • Soil Nails – these are grouted steel bars used to reinforce in-situ soils to create a gravity retaining wall for permanent or temporary excavation support allowing soils to stand at steeper angles than they would naturally
  • Ground Anchors – Ground anchors are used to prevent the horizontal movement by transferring the tensile load through grouted tendons installed to depth when stabilising slopes and retaining structures
  • Rock Bolts and Netting – Rock bolts are usually installed on a grid, and transfer loads from the unstable face into the load bearing solid rock behind
  • Retaining Structures and Walls – Structures designed to restrain soil to a slope that it would not naturally keep to (typically a steep, near-vertical or vertical slope) – includes sheet piled walls, contiguous piled walls, kingpost walls and secant piled walls

Slope Stabilisation on the Railway

Our rail team have extensive experience in delivering slope stabilisation techniques and installing Retaining Walls across the UK Rail Network over many years. We can deliver all the above techniques on rail projects. 

Strata Geotechnics, our ground investigation specialists are highly experienced in working on the rail infrastructure and work in conjunction with the rail team. 

The design and build capability of is supported by the in-house design team who are well versed in working to Network Rail standards, having CEM and CRE Design and Construction competency.

In addition, this capability is bolstered by us owning and operating our own fleet of specialist Road Rail Vehicles and holding Network Rail POS and PCL Licences.

The RRV fleet has been specifically developed for piling and geotechnical works using attachments such as;

  • Movax Side Grip
  • BSP Impact Hammers
  • VESPA Drill/CFA Masts
  • Soil Drills
  • Soil Nailing and Anchor attachments

The Rail division are also supported by the Specialist and open site piling teams for off track locations.

What are the advantages of using slope stabilisation?

  • Techniques used are fast and easy to install and use lightweight equipment
  • Excavations and installation of soil can progress concurrently
  • Ideal for sites with difficult and restricted access because the rigs that are utilised are usually smaller
  • Cost-effective when required for temporary excavation support

Common uses:

  • Used on road and rail projects and sites where there are access limitations
  • Improves the stability and load bearing characteristics of a rock mass
  • Earth retaining structures for excavations, basements and tunnel supports
  • Flood defence and marine structures

Why Van Elle?

We provide customers with a differentiated and highly professional service, including:

  • Integrated capability – an end-to-end service from ground investigation to the largest types of foundation engineering
  • The UK’s largest fleet of specialist rigs
  • A dedicated team – we deploy a directly employed workforce of more than 400 highly trained operatives
  • Innovation – we invest 10% of our expenditure in developing new techniques and applications
  • Expertise – we provide more than 25 geotechnical, ground improvement and piling techniques across the Group