Study results to reveal cause, next steps after Wabasha St. rockslide

Photo courtesy St. Paul Police Department

Large chunks of limestone and soil still need to be removed from the bluff above Wabasha Street in St. Paul, Minnesota before the city can safely reopen the road following last month’s rockslide.

On April 28, the unstable bluff collapsed onto the road. No one was hurt in the rockslide, but the road remains closed out of concern it could happen again. 

Engineering consultants have done several detailed surveys, both with drones and lift equipment as well as on foot from the top of the bluff to analyze the geology of why the rockslide happened and evaluate any additional risks. 

The engineers presented the results of the surveys to the City of St. Paul on Friday. The surveys found the weakening of the bluff’s limestone and shale composition caused the rockslide. 

The engineers said there are overhanging blocks of limestone that could also fall and there are multiple joints in the limestone where it could separate. Those chunks need to be removed from the bluff before Wabasha Street can reopen. 

St. Paul Public Works will use the study to determine how to remove the unstable rock and how long it will take.