Predicting Soil Loss on Highway Systems Based on a Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) Specific to Highway Site Conditions
Construction and Maintenance Practices
Environmental Process, Natural Resources
Research Idea Scope
The RUSLE is an agriculturally based soil loss prediction tool modified for construction sites. The Highway version of the RUSLE (HUSLE) is needed to fill a big void in the way DOT’s determine erosion control recommendations for highway construction. It would serve as the basis for deciding erosion control treatments based on site-specific environmental conditions in the highway environment. The Department would benefit from having a tool that can be used by designers to help in developing erosion control recommendations that will stand up to legal scrutiny. Potential savings would be from informed decision-making during development of erosion control recommendations. Designers with little or no background will not specify costly treatments that may not work. Also, savings would be gained from “doing it right the first time” and preventing re-applications and costly change orders. Better decision-making will help prevent water quality violations and potential construction shut downs. Using a tool to speed up erosion control decision-making would help reduce overall project design time particularly for projects that may affect threatened and endangered aquatic species.
- Develop and validate for current erosion control technologies a highway specific methodology using a variation of the Universal Soil Loss Equation to predict soil loss from highway slopes and aid in designing erosion control.
- Develop a computer-based tool for state DOT personnel to use the HUSLE in highway projects.
Development of the Highway Erosion Assessment Tool (HEAT) for Evaluation of Roadside Slopes
vegetative system stability. To aid in this task, a tool called the Highway Erosion Assessment Tool (HEAT) was developed. HEAT is an end-user software program used for recording, calculating, and summarizing data collected by personnel evaluating the success of vegetated erosion control. Data were collected on-site that related to slope, vegetated coverage, soils, parent material, aspect, and other factors and entered into the program.
2002 Research Needs Conference Idea Harold G. Hunt Division of New Technology and Research California Department of Transportation