Slope Stabilization

Slope Stabilization

Geofoam is the perfect material to stabilize slopes of varying degrees

Lightweight fill is favored by geotechnical engineers for mass reduction and minimizing gravitational driving forces.  In the past, lightweight fills were primarily comprised of cinders, chipped bark, dried peat, sawdust, and cellular concrete.  In fact, seashells, shredded tires, and slag were also used.  Today, geotechnical engineers are partial to EPS geofoam.  Geofoam is upwards of 50 times lighter than other options, making it perfect for slope stabilization.   Geofoam’s merits in the context of slope stabilization also include its comparably clean construction near waterways, minimal traffic impact, enhancing right-of-way and comparably less labor/maintenance as time progresses.  Geofoam’s density is upwards of 100 times less than that of soil.  There is no need to alter the geometry of the final slope when geofoam is used.

ESP Blocks for slope stabilization infographic

Benefits of Slope Stabilization


Free draining materials can be added between the geofoam in the back slope and the natural soil to ensure the appropriate base leveling. The configuration of geofoam blocks balances out the number of geofoam blocks necessary with other construction/design factors for quick construction, minimal environmental strain and maximum efficiency. In fact, it might not even be necessary to add a concrete slab cover.

Reduces Driving Forces

The vast majority of the work necessary for adding geofoam for slope stabilization involves the removal of soil fill. However, if the slope excavation is nearly parallel to the geofoam’s fill shape, construction will prove that much easier. Even the slope’s safety factor is boosted with the addition of geofoam blocks. Geofoam reduces driving forces by lowering slope weight. Furthermore, unlike soil, geofoam does not erode.

Long-term Stability

Whether the project in question is a repair or new construction, EPS geofoam will prove suitable. In fact, geofoam has been used to enhance slope stability in all sorts of different projects throughout the United States ranging from New York’s State Route 23A, Colorado’s U.S. Highway 160, Massachusetts’ Central Artery/Tunnel project and Utah’s I-15 Reconstruction Project.