Stabilizing a Moving Hillside


Rembco Puts Down Anchors in Colorado

After developing an Army housing complex at Ft. Carson Army Base, a rather startling discovery was made: excavation for the recently completed housing project had somehow started the nearby 1,200-foot wide hillside moving toward the homes. Worse yet, two water tanks holding 5 million gallons of water were located just above the destabilized hillside. The developer, Balfour Beatty Construction, called in the Stabilizing Force: Rembco.

The Investigation

“The first thing we did was conduct a geotechnical investigation of the area,” says Rembco Estimator/Engineer Mike Bivens. “We quickly learned that the unstable soil making up the hillside was colluvium—deposits of sediment at the bottom of a low-grade slope that had been transported by gravity. We realized we were actually looking at the rubble left behind by a prehistoric landslide. To add to the problem,” Bivens goes on to say, “high ground water levels in some areas of the site were causing further instability.” Armed with this knowledge,

the Rembco team was able to design and build a stabilization system for the prehistoric monster that was edging toward the homes.

The System

“The system we constructed included approximately 225 rock anchors drilled through the unstable soil to competent bedrock,” says Bivens. Each anchor was attached to a pre-cast, reinforced concrete reaction block approximately eight feet square and more than two feet thick. Following installation, each anchor was pull-tested and locked off under a working load of 240,000 pounds (120 tons). “To combat the high groundwater levels,” says Bivens, “we drilled

approximately 60 horizontal drains into the toe of the slope to provide drainage for saturated areas. We completed the job by re-grading the slope to cover the anchors and re-vegetating the area.” The time required for the entire job: ten weeks.

The Results

Through the strategic deployment of anchors and drains, the Rembco team was able to permanently halt the advancing hillside, and also stabilize the water tanks. “Rembco did everything they said they would do,” says Steve Miller of Balfour Beatty Construction, “and they completed the job ahead of schedule. If I had to describe Rembco’s performance in one word, that word would be ‘flawless’.”

Whether your instability problems date back to last week or the last ice age, you’ll get the professional services you need from Rembco—the Stabilizing Force for building foundations, rock slide and soil stabilizing, sinkhole remediation or controlling underground liquid migration.

We can be reached at 865-671-2925, or visit our website at


About Rembco

Rembco is a geotechnical contractor that specializes in foundation support, soil stabilization and specialty grouting. Rembco offers micropiles, minipiles, soil nailing, rock anchors, pressure grouting, compaction grouting, compaction piles, chemical grouting, sinkhole repair, soil anchors and more. Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, Rembco has been providing geotechnical services (ground improvement, rock slide stabilization, excavation shoring, sinkhole remediation, hazardous material encapsulation, and underground liquid migration control) for over 30 years, serving clients throughout the nation.

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