Wyoming landslide stabilization to begin in 2015

AP News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2014 5:57 PM
Wyoming landslide stabilization to begin in 2015

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Town officials say they don't have enough time left before cold weather arrives to get going on a project to permanently stabilize a slow-moving landslide in Wyoming that tore one house in two and cut off access to dozens of other homes last spring.

The work will begin next year.

Meanwhile, next year's spring thaw presents a concern, but for now, the slide only is moving at about an inch or two per month, according to George Machan, the chief engineer consulting with Jackson officials on the situation.

"It just keeps on creeping on at a linear rate," Machan said at a town meeting Tuesday.

The landslide prompted the evacuation of dozens of homes and townhouses on Budge Drive in April. The slide tore off part of one house in the neighborhood and officials for a time fretted it could release suddenly onto several businesses below.

Officials closed off the hillside drive into the neighborhood just south of downtown but lately have been allowing residents to return using a temporary drive.

Town officials plan to widen the road to two lanes this fall, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported (http://bit.ly/1BzZVTH ).

Town councilors previously planned to begin permanent stabilization this year by digging below the slide's slippery clay base layer and backfilling with more solid material.

"Given where we are with the weather, we don't have time to do it right now. We're going to do what we have time to do," Town Manager Bob McLaurin said.

Town officials still are evaluating options for long-term stabilization. They include removing dirt and rock from the top of the slide zone and installing ground anchors to hold the hillside in place.

The town already has spent $1 million on temporary stabilization.

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Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, http://www.jhnewsandguide.com