Rockslide indefinitely closes part of Wabasha Street in St. Paul

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A rockslide shut down part of a roadway in St. Paul Saturday afternoon, with no clear timeline for when the road might be reopened.

As a result, Wabasha Street between Plato Boulevard and Humboldt Avenue will remain closed for at least another day.

No one was injured when rocks slid onto the roadway at approximately 3:30 p.m., though St. Paul officials are not removing the debris until an outside expert can assess the situation. Right now, they say, nobody really knows just how unstable the rock wall is. City engineers are bringing in outside experts on Monday to try and determine what needs to be done to make it safe before they can even think about reopening the road. 

Gawkers spent much of the day Sunday reveling in the destruction, which they say is not uncommon in this area of St. Paul near the Mississippi River.

"Two years ago in the same area a slab or two fell off and it went into the road," said Andre Mudek, who lives in the area. "They cleaned it up pretty quickly and now that might be a precursor to a larger section coming down."

In fact, neighbor Mark Schroeder claims he predicted this would happen and notified the city more than a year ago.

"I called the city of St. Paul approximately 14 months ago and just notified them that there was one large cantilever stone that was hanging that was inevitably going to fall, and maybe something could be done as a preventative measure instead of waiting for catastrophic failure," Schroeder said. "[The person] said he’d take a look at it and I never heard another word."

One thing's for certain: it's a good thing the rockslide didn't happen just a week later, when the West. St. Paul Cinco de Mayo Parade is set to march through the very spot where the stones fell.

"There would have been hundreds of people standing right there," Schroeder said. "It could have been disastrous."