Ramsey County will receive $766,770 from the state’s disaster-assistance fund to help clean up an April landslide that knocked out part of Wabasha Street on St. Paul’s West Side.
Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday authorized the payment, which will cover 75 percent of the estimated $1.1 million in damage to the roadway.
Wabasha Street between Plato Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Street has been closed since April 28, when an estimated 400,000 pounds of rock and soil came loose on the bluff.
No one was hurt as slabs of limestone, some as large as a mattress, slid down the bluff and shattered on the street below.
But the street is expected to remain closed until fall, as St. Paul works to buttress the bluff to prevent further slides.
After having an engineering firm study the slope, city officials decided to build a 12-foot-high retaining wall that will run about 250 feet along Wabasha Street. Crews are expected to have the welded mesh wall complete by early October.
Rock slides are a natural and sporadic occurrence among the river bluffs of the Twin Cities and southeastern Minnesota. The risk is especially high in spring, when ice inside the bluff thaws and destabilizes the rock.
Some recent landslides have been devastating, such as the 2013 landslide at Lilydale Regional Park in St. Paul that killed two children during a field trip.
The collapse of a slope on West River Parkway in Minneapolis in 2014 cost millions of dollars to repair. Another rock slide along Wabasha Street in 2011 smashed in the back wall of a bakery.