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Parkway that’s been closed since 2014 mudslide will reopen tomorrow

West River Parkway will finally reopen after more than two years.

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Mudslide damage. (Photo: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board)

A section of the road and trails, which run along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, has been closed since June 2014.

That’s when record-breaking rainfall caused the slope above the parkway to fail, sending a mudslide down the riverbank, across the parkway and into the river, according to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

But after months of planning and construction, the West River Parkway between 4th Street South and East 24th Street will reopen Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

West River Parkway was closed for so long because fixing the slope proved to be challenging – the project was plagued by mini mudslides and groundwater seepage, and crews had limited space to work on the steep incline. (See a timeline of the project here.)

The finished project, which totaled roughly $5.6 million, includes measures to help prevent mudslides like the one in 2014 from happening again.

Among them:

  • Five retaining walls (three near the top of the slope, two at the bottom) to stabilize the hill and reduce its incline.
  • A network of drain tiles to redirect groundwater. This will help storm water runoff from saturating the soil on the hill (one of the reasons for the 2014 mudslide).
  • New trees and other vegetation that’ll help anchor the slope, as well as new “structurally stable” soil.
  • The parkway and trails were repaved and guardrails were replaced.

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