Title

Snow Supporting Structures, Echo Summit, California

Lead Author Major

Civil Engineering

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Faculty Mentor Name

Scott Merry

Faculty Mentor Department

Civil Engineering

Additional Faculty Mentor Name

Gary Litton

Abstract/Artist Statement

Avalanches are a constant threat to winter travelers both in convenience and safety. Currently, the avalanche risk near Echo Summit is being managed by the Gaz-EX system, which triggers small avalanches in order to prevent a major avalanche. Utilizing current methods, the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) is able to readily clean up the debris on the highway created by the small avalanches. In a worst case scenario, small avalanches triggered at the wrong time would result in a much larger uncontrolled avalanche and wasted resources. This sudden avalanche could endanger the property and lives of travelers. Additionally, road closures and removal of snow and debris after avalanche generation are requirements of the current system, which cost both time and money. Our proposed solution to this problem is a snow supporting structure that is based on a design popularly used in Europe and recommended by the Swiss Avalanche Guide. It is a steel structure that will have horizontal panels in order to support the snow. The structure will be supported by micropiles. This structure will be designed to withstand a design snow load of six and a half feet; thus, reducing the frequency of dangerous avalanches in the area. The structure will require no upkeep during the winter seasons and is intended to prevent avalanches up to six and a half feet of snow. During the summer seasons it is Trifecta’s intent that the structure will blend into the landscape and look as if it belongs in the surrounding environment.

Location

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Start Date

28-4-2012 2:00 PM

End Date

28-4-2012 3:30 PM

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Apr 28th, 2:00 PM Apr 28th, 3:30 PM

Snow Supporting Structures, Echo Summit, California

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Avalanches are a constant threat to winter travelers both in convenience and safety. Currently, the avalanche risk near Echo Summit is being managed by the Gaz-EX system, which triggers small avalanches in order to prevent a major avalanche. Utilizing current methods, the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) is able to readily clean up the debris on the highway created by the small avalanches. In a worst case scenario, small avalanches triggered at the wrong time would result in a much larger uncontrolled avalanche and wasted resources. This sudden avalanche could endanger the property and lives of travelers. Additionally, road closures and removal of snow and debris after avalanche generation are requirements of the current system, which cost both time and money. Our proposed solution to this problem is a snow supporting structure that is based on a design popularly used in Europe and recommended by the Swiss Avalanche Guide. It is a steel structure that will have horizontal panels in order to support the snow. The structure will be supported by micropiles. This structure will be designed to withstand a design snow load of six and a half feet; thus, reducing the frequency of dangerous avalanches in the area. The structure will require no upkeep during the winter seasons and is intended to prevent avalanches up to six and a half feet of snow. During the summer seasons it is Trifecta’s intent that the structure will blend into the landscape and look as if it belongs in the surrounding environment.