18 Jun 2024
 | 18 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

A participatory approach to determine the use of road cut slope design guidelines in Nepal to lessen landslides

Ellen B. Robson, Bhim Kumar Dahal, and David G. Toll

Abstract. Road cut slope failures are a type of landslide process and are extensive across the road network of Nepal. In response to the pressing need for improved road cut slope design guidelines to help prevent these failures, this study employs a participatory approach to assess the efficacy of the current guidelines in Nepal and identify critical areas for enhancement. We organized a one-day workshop with 34 participants, conducted six semi-structured interviews and five unstructured interviews, facilitated two one-hour focus groups, and distributed 19 questionnaires. Participants in this research included local, provincial, and central government engineers, consultants, and academics. We conducted a thematic analysis of the qualitative data. Our findings reveal significant inconsistency in guideline adherence, attributed to their lack of user-friendliness, inconsistent recommendations, and inadequate training for engineers. We found that engineers at provincial and local levels often resort to empirical methods when designing cut slopes due to constraints such as land acquisition difficulties. Moreover, the absence of comprehensive geotechnical investigation further exacerbates the unreliability of slope designs. To address these challenges, we propose the development of new, contextually appropriate guidelines that prioritize simplicity, accessibility, and practicality for field application. We suggest that a programme of training is conducted with all Nepali road engineers with the publication of new guidelines. Through these measures, this study aims to lessen road cut slope failures in Nepal, thereby, enhancing the resilience of the road network.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Ellen B. Robson, Bhim Kumar Dahal, and David G. Toll

Status: open (until 31 Jul 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Ellen B. Robson, Bhim Kumar Dahal, and David G. Toll
Ellen B. Robson, Bhim Kumar Dahal, and David G. Toll


Total article views: 171 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
123 35 13 171 7 8
  • HTML: 123
  • PDF: 35
  • XML: 13
  • Total: 171
  • BibTeX: 7
  • EndNote: 8
Views and downloads (calculated since 18 Jun 2024)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 18 Jun 2024)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 162 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 162 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 24 Jul 2024
Short summary
Slopes excavated alongside roads in Nepal frequently fail (a landslide), resulting in substantial losses. Our participatory approach study involving road engineers aimed to assess the efficacy of the current slope design guidelines in Nepal. Our study revealed inconsistent guideline adherence due to their lack of user-friendliness and inadequate training. We recommend developing simpler, context-specific guidelines and comprehensive training to enhance resilience in Nepal's road network.