California Department of Transportation

Stepped Slopes

Stepped Slope

What is This Treatment?

This technique consists of a series of small benches, typically between one and two feet in width. Stepped slopes control erosion by breaking up the slope length - reducing the velocity of stormwater runoff. The steps promote vegetative cover by capturing and retaining loose soil material.

Stepped Slopes

Stepped Slopes Training Video

When to Use This Treatment?

Consider Using With:


  • Reduced stormwater runoff volume and velocity.

  • Improved soil, seed, and water holding capacity on steep slope surfaces.

  • Improved potential for establishing vegetative cover on steep cut slopes.


  • May increase the cost of earthwork activities.

  • Requires site accessibility by earthwork equipment.

  • May not be practical for sandy or rocky soils.

  • For cut slopes only.

Standards and Specifications

Plans and Details:

Estimate Information:

  • No pricing information is available for stepped slopes.


External Links:

Updated 08-21-2015