In January 2022 a large rockfall occurred from a roadside cutting and blocked a main road in North Devon. A geotechnical inspection by an engineering geologist from Frederick Sherrell Limited indicated that the rockfall was caused by a sliding failure on steeply inclined fractures in the bedrock strata, possibly triggered by tree roots loosening the rock mass. Following the inspection, emergency scaling was carried out and temporary barriers were installed to allow a partial reopening of one carriageway of the road.
Working closely with the Local Authority remedial works were designed and constructed to strengthen the rockface and control rockfall hazards. The permanent remedial works were undertaken by specialist rock face contractors (Abcas Limited) and included cutting back trees and vegetation growing on the face, scaling any loose rock from the cutting face, covering the rock face with a netting revetment and installing rock bolts, cables and a rockfall catcher fence. All of the work (investigation, design and installation) was completed in a twelve week period, allowing the road to be fully reopened in April 2022.