Inspection Paravalanches

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On behalf of the Department of Savoie, SITES carries out periodic detailed inspections of tunnels, avalanche barriers and rock-shed barriers.

Supported by the specialised inspection teams of our Rhône-Alpes agency, these interventions are essential elements for managing such infrastructures to guarantee the safety of users and maintain the level of service, especially during winter.

In Savoie, SITES makes use of its long experience in the inspection and monitoring of civil-engineering structures. This year, our inspectors combed through five structures, including four tunnels and one avalanche barrier. Located downstream from Lac de Roselend in Beaufort (73), the La Têtaz avalanche barrier protects the road from avalanches and landslides. The SITES teams carried out “hands-on” inspections of all the pillars and the lower parts of the structure using standard access means, on foot and using an aerial platform. The objective is then to observe, identify and characterise potential anomalies.

Since the avalanche barriers and rock-shed barriers are located in corridors with a high risk of rockslide, these missions also require the support of our drone teams for the implementation of remote surveys, particularly for the upper parts of the structure. To avoid any risk, in agreement with the manager, some parts are inspected remotely using a light drone. This intervention, carried out over a half-day, made it possible to establish the state of the structure as a whole, and in particular its upper part, which was recently exposed to an impressive rockslide.