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Chicago Chapter Meeting
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When: October 17, 2017
5:15 PM
Where: Roditys Restaurant
222 South Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois 
United States
Contact: Stephanie Scilingo

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October 2017 AEG Dinner Meeting
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

LOCATION: Roditys Restaurant, 222 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL, (312) 454-0800

PROGRAM TOPIC: Rockfall Fatalities, The Georgetown Incline, I-40 West of Denver, Colorado, Two Court Cases and Slope Remediation Speaker

SPEAKER: Dr. Terry West Professor of Earth Science Purdue University

WHEN: Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Cocktails @ 5:15 pm, Dinner @ 6:00 pm

COST: $35 Members, $40 Non-Members, $15 Students and Professors

RSVP: By email By 5 PM Friday, October 13, 2017,

The Georgetown Incline consists of a 1.7-mile section of I-70 between Georgetown and Silver Plume, Colorado. The slopes are very steep, consisting of many rock cut sections made during construction in the 1970s before pre-splitting techniques were employed. The Idaho Springs Formation and the Silver Plume Granite are exposed along the roadway. The Idaho Springs Formation is a biotite-quartz-microcline and plagioclase gneiss with smaller amounts of lime-silicate gneiss and amphibolites. The Silver Plume Granite, which intrudes the Idaho Springs Formation, is mostly a light gray to pinkish light gray quartz monzonite. In 1999, there were no rockfall barriers on the slope when two separate fatalities occurred due to rockfalls. On May 16, 1999, a woman was killed after a large boulder struck the automobile she was riding in. On December 9, 1999, a man was killed when a rock shattered the window of a shuttle bus he was riding to the ski area. The author became aware of this dangerous stretch of highway when serving as an expert witness in two court cases related to the fatalities. In both cases, the court ruled in favor of the State of Colorado and no damages were awarded. Since that time, he has followed progress made on slope stability of the 1.7-mile segment and has used subsequent information as a case history in his slope stability coursework. By 2002, the Colorado Department of Transportation and its consultants had identified ten runout shoots that were potential locations for rockfalls. To date, 53 structures have been constructed on the incline, including barrier walls, barrier fences, attenuators, mesh anchors, and draped mesh.

Terry R. West is a Professor of Engineering Geology in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (, where he has been a faculty member for over 50 years. Dr. West holds degrees in geology, geotechnical engineering, and civil engineering, and is a Fellow in the Geological Society of America (GSA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the Indiana Academy of Science (IAS). He is a Past President of AEG and IAS, a Past Chair of the Department of Engineering Geology Division of GSA, and a Past Chair of the Highway Geology Symposium (HGS). He is the recipient of several AEG awards: the Terzaghi Mentoring Award, the Claire P. Holdredge Publication Award, the Floyd T. Johnson Service Award, and the Honorary Member Award. Dr. West is also a recipient of the Medallion Award of HGS and the Distinguished Service Award of the Engineering Geology Division of GSA. He is the author of the textbook “Geology Applied to Engineering”, revised edition, by Waveland Press, Long Grove, Illinois. Eighty-three graduate students have completed degrees under his direction – 18 PhDs and 65 MS. He has published over 300 papers and abstracts and has served as an active consultant in applied geology for 50 years. Dr. West is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri and is a member and Past Chair of the North Central Section (Chicago Chapter) of AEG.

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