Vail Pass Wall Repairs
Eagle County, Colo.
Award of Merit
Owner: Colorado Dept. of Transportation
Lead Design Firm: Gannett Fleming
Design Builder: GeoStabilization International
Interstate 70 includes environmentally sensitive areas such as Vail Pass. The freeway’s original construction relied on an aesthetic that blended the road into the surrounding mountains, resulting in one-of-a-kind retaining walls. Nearly 50 years later, some of the walls had begun to deteriorate to the point of near failure. Though ensuring structural integrity was paramount, maintaining the historical design was also important. Soil nails up to 30 ft long were drilled in an engineered pattern through each retaining wall face, deep enough for optimal bond strength without sacrificing beauty or aesthetics. A rock face matching the original walls was added to cover up the soil-nail work, resulting in a seamless look from the roadway below.