oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Shear beauty of the Franschhoek Pass : geotechnical engineering

Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



The Franschhoek Pass (R45) is one of South Africa's iconic mountain passes, serving as a gateway to the Overberg. The year 2013 saw numerous cases of slope instability along the route due to unseasonably high rainfall. In response, SMEC South Africa (Pty) Ltd was tasked by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works with repairing damaged drainage infrastructure and road surfacing, implementing erosion-mitigation measures and stabilising a progressive, deep-seated slope failure on the lower western flank of the pass. The solution involved the use of an unconventional slope stabilisation method synchronous with the surrounding environment (Figure 1).

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