Geotechnical Services for Highway Failures

by | Nov 30, 2022

Throughout Britain, our vast network of roads, from large motorways to winding country lanes, is crucial for transportation. With traffic, however, comes the inevitable wear and tear. At best, highway failures can be annoying, but at worst they can be exceptionally dangerous. This is why they must be fixed quickly and efficiently, which is where professional contractors, such as Borehole Solutions, comes in to play. We commonly provide geotechnical services to deal with highway failures; and we have written this blog post to explain what we do in more detail.

What is a Highway Failure?

Highway failures are circumstances when roads have structural failures of some description. This can range from a small pothole to a significant crack opening up in the middle of a motorway, causing disruption to many peoples’ journeys. A number of stresses can lead to these failures, including:

  • Poor design
  • Excessive load
  • Extreme weather events
  • Age

Our Geotechnical Services

The team here at Borehole Solutions regularly deal with highway failures and road maintenance. We wanted to discuss the most common situations where our geotechnical services are required.

Slope Stabilisation

Unstable roads could be a highway that is built on a hillside or slope or an actively unsafe road. Whether the existing infrastructure needs to be amended or a brand-new road constructed, we will use our modular and restricted access drilling rigs as these are ideal for navigating difficult terrain. In most cases, we will also install inclinometers to monitor the state of the slope over time, ensuring that any pre-existing faults don’t worsen.


When the subsurface moves away, in the case of a landslide, for instance, this can cause the paving of the road to open up into a fault. This may not cause any problem initially, but if they’re exposed to the elements, then these cracks can worsen over time. Therefore, it’s vital that they are detected and repaired as soon as possible. Softer rock types, such as sandstone, are especially prone to such failures, meaning they need consistent monitoring and maintenance.

Diverting Buried Services

Prior to carrying out any work on major roads, an exploratory borehole must first be drilled in order to confirm whether there are any important structures below the surface. For example, you don’t want to be building a new carriageway and then have to stop halfway after discovering a mains water pipe! The preparatory work is just as important as the geotechnical services and drilling work itself.

Other Services

Alongside operating on highways and roads, we also work with a range of other industry sectors, including residential homes, domestic energy systems and urban geotechnical work, to name but a few. We’re one of the UK’s leading providers of sonic drilling solutions, but we also offer a number of other geotechnical services, including:

  • Sample testing
  • Window sampling
  • Basement underpinning
  • Rotary drilling
  • Cable percussion drilling
  • WAC and contamination testing

Contact us

Early detection and a proactive response are vital when it comes to working with highways. This is why you should use a trusted contractor, such as Borehole Solutions, for road maintenance. So, if you’d like to find out more information about our geotechnical services for highway failures, or any of our other drilling solutions, then get in touch! Contact Borehole Solutions today on 01733 200501 or email us at, or alternatively, click here to contact us directly! You can also check out our Instagram for more information.