After mudslide, West River Parkway closed until fall

The city expects to receive state and federal funding to cover the reconstruction costs.

by Allison Kronberg

The West River Parkway will likely reopen to the public in September.

A mudslide that occurred on the West Bank last June has kept a 1-mile portion of the road closed. Construction is set to begin in June, and the city is hoping funding from the federal and state level will cover the project.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has spent more than $1.1 million on repairs, and the cost for permanent repairs will reach about $3.8 million.

The board expects the state Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse up to 75 percent of costs. The remaining 25 percent may come from the state, if approved by the Legislature.

The board approved Barr Engineering to complete the reconstruction. After analysis, Barr recommended five retaining walls be built to re-stabilize the 10,000-square-foot slope.

Because multiple landowners were affected by the mudslide, including the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, and the city, the process of reopening the parkway has been time-consuming, said Justin Long, assistant superintendent of Minneapolis’ parks board’s environmental stewardship division.

The board approved compensating Fairview for immediate repairs, like debris removal and covering the hillside.

“We know it’s a difficult thing for this to be closed, but we’re hoping to have it open by fall,” he said. “And it will be safe for everyone for a very long time.”