How Much Does Rock Excavation Cost?

Written by: Staff

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When it comes to excavating rock, blasting, ripping and break have been the most popular methods usedas part of construction engineering for years.

It is done primarily to create solid foundations for structures such as skyscrapers, dams, and some houses.  It may also refer remove undesirable rocks from a certain area.

US 220/NC 68 Connector (Future I-73) Wor by NCDOTcommunications, on Flickr
US 220/NC 68 Connector (Future I-73) Wor” (CC BY 2.0) by  NCDOTcommunications

How much does rock excavation cost?

Depending on the type of rock, the size of the job, placement, contractor rates, the equipment being used, and geographical location, most rock excavation jobs will cost $5 to $35 per cubic yard if a blasting method is used, but this price could be much higher if it were a public bid job.  Because all jobs will be so unique, highly consider a free quote service such as  Here, you can describe your job and local, licensed contractors will contact you with bids.

Based on a forum thread on, the average cost of rock excavation is around $5 to $15 per cubic yard if the contractor is able to drill and complete the blast.

In Louisville, Kentucky, they received bids from five different contractors, with rock excavation quotes ranging anywhere from $60 per cubic yard by blasting to as much as $125 per cubic yard by mechanical means.

Rock excavation overview

The method used during the rock excavation process will greatly depend on the rock mass and how close the rocks are to a populated area.  Rock blasting, a popular method used, involves drilling smaller holes inside of rock, followed by inserting an explosive-type device inside.  For smaller rocks, a jackhammer may be used to break up the compressed rock.  If the area is populated or blasting isn’t allowed, then a process known as chemical rock fissuring may be employed.

What are the extra costs?

Depending on the contractor and the quote receive, excavation is often considered a one-step process.  The land, if it needed to be cleared or graded, is often considered a separate charge.

In the case of a larger job, permits may be required, especially if a blasting method is used.

How can I save money?

As with any project, try to receive as many quotes as possible before proceeding, but don’t focus solely on the price.  Be sure to look at the reviews, their reputation and what kind of work they have done in the past.

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