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Rock fall protection s.s 45 bis “Gardesana Occidentale”

Tunnels and structural elements

Project name Rock fall protection s.s 45 bis “Gardesana Occidentale” Volume 7.500 m³ expanded clay 8-20 mm Location Brescia, Italy Year 2008
Contractor Carena S.p.A. Designer Studio Cancelli Associato Owner/Builder ANAS S.p.A.


The construction of the new artificial tunnel on the s.s. 45 bis had to deal with issues of the high kinetic energy of falling rocks. In this case is necessary to increase the thickness of the fill above the gallery and to use a high absorbing material but more thickness can lead to problems of load on tunnel.

Why Expanded Clay:

The use of a thick layer of expanded clay fulfills the two requirements: the weight of expanded clay allows you not to oversize the structure and to absorb the energy released from the rocks. Also the expanded clay was easily blown above the tunnel and this has given advantages both economic and logistical.


When the job completed has been appreciated also the speed of delivery and blowing of the expanded clay and easy handling due to its limited weight.

Key Issues:

Blowing, Load reduction, Mechanical protection, and Stability

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