A failing slope beside U.S. Highway 61 on the outskirts of Vicksburg, Miss., had caused more than its share of headaches. Innovative application of geotechnical technology has stemmed the tide of dirt, putting an end to the threat of destructive and disruptive landslides.

Contractors installed more than 250 buried anchor blocks to stabilize the slope, which spans 1300 feet along Signal Hill. Due to the size and depth of the below-surface slide plane, the $6 million project lasted 10 months. But it was worth it: The design garnered the 2007 Grand Conceptor Award from the state's chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.

When the roadway was completed 30 years ago, the Mississippi DOT recognized a potential for landslide activity at the site. Crews installed a berm, and a trench drain helped remove water collecting under the roadbed, but it continued to sink incrementally over time, and more rapidly during wet weather.