The village of Carvoeira is located on the Portuguese coast on the edge of the picturesque Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the category of cultural landscapes. The national park is known for its rich vegetation and attractive sandy beaches. Linking the towns and villages is the N-247 road which snakes its way along the coast offering motorists numerous scenic viewpoints.
The many cuttings on the N-247 serve to permit the passage of vehicles along the coast. Whilst allowing the passage of vehicles, any cuttings present challenges to the safe operation of a road in the form of loose ground and rock falls. Assessments of the N-247 in Carvoeira identified the risk to road users of rock falls in this area, and consulting engineer JetSJ Geotecnia were engaged by the road operator Infraestruturas de Portugal to provide a solution for this section. Delivering a design which addressed the potential hazard of loose ground, whilst serving to maintain the aesthetic appeal of this attractive tourist route, was of primary concern to the consulting engineer. Fast completion of the work was also required to minimise disruption to motorists on the route.
JetSJ Geotecnia approached specialist geotechnical supplier Enrico Piolanti who recognised the importance of an aesthetically sympathetic solution. Enrico Piolanti proposed a design which utilised bolts of varying lengths and steel mesh reinforcement in combination with Erosamat Type 3 erosion control matting to prevent rock sliding and progressive stalling. Erosamat Type 3 is a three-dimensional matrix which protects the soil cover from erosion immediately after installation to allow plant germination to occur in a protected environment. In this application, Erosamat Type 3 Brown with UV inhibitors was chosen to minimise the visual impact of the protection system whilst allowing the vegetation to become established. Contractor Ancorpor completed the installation by hydroseeding the face.
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ABG provided design support to aid the approvals process, manufacturing and delivering to meet tight project timescales.
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