West River Parkway hillside still unstable and June landslide - KMSP-TV

Slope near Fairview Riverside Hospital still unstable after landslide

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Soil tests confirmed the West River Parkway slope in Minneapolis remains unstable, meaning a one-mile stretch of the parkway will remain closed between 4th Street S. and Franklin Avenue until further notice. Heavy rains in June triggered a landslide near Fairview Riverside Hospital, and more summer rain in Minneapolis has caused further erosion of the slope.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview and consulting engineers are working together on a solution to stabilize the slope. The city hopes to begin construction this fall on temporary or permanent repairs that will keep the hillside stable, but the project isn't expected to be finished until 2015.

“We understand that this is a heavily traveled route for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and it is a huge inconvenience,” said Justin Long, MPRB's assistant superintendent for environmental stewardship. “But until we can get the hillside stable, the safest course of action is to keep the parkway closed. We believe the original slide inundated the parkway within a few seconds. It was extremely fortunate that no-one was injured by the mudslide and debris. If it happened again, it is highly likely there would not enough time for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to get out of the way.”

The landslide area has been covered with a fabric casing to minimize erosion, but each rainfall this summer has washed soil down the slope and up against the concrete barriers along the parkway.

WEATHER BLOG: Wettest June day on record in Twin Cities

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