Archive for Wednesday, July 13, 2005

State lake road remains closed

Repairs not scheduled on stretch plagued by slides

July 13, 2005

The sliding dirt that occurred about three months ago along the backside of the Leavenworth County State Lake dam road was caused by shallow slides, according to a geological investigation report by the URS Corporation in Lenexa.

A shallow slide occurs when the slide plain is too close to the surface, said Russell LaForce, project engineer for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

The ground is a little unstable because material that was added to the side of the lake in 1994 never formed well with the original material, LaForce said.

The report determined that the slide was not deep enough to have to lower the lake level, which was a concern before the report.

"When you got something wrong with a dam, that's one of the first things we look at if we need to lower the lake level," LaForce said.

He said the water level would be lowered for a deep slide, which involved 12 feet or deeper. A shallow slide only affects about four feet of ground.

The road has been closed since March when a jogger reported the sliding dirt.

The bad spots still are covered by plastic tarps, LaForce said.

About a month ago, however, LaForce noticed another minor slide had occurred since that first report. He immediately reported the incident to the division of water resources in the department of agriculture, he said.

"We're constantly working on it," LaForce said about the making sure the ground stays safe for pedestrians.

The road will remain closed to through traffic, but pedestrians can still walk around, LaForce said.

A date has not been set to begin construction because plans have not been finalized, he said. It could take up to another month before those plans are finalized and construction begins.

LaForce said the general remedy to the slide would be to dig trenches along the backside and fill them in with rocks.

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