ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A rockslide that happened two months ago may now be causing damage a half-mile away at a family’s home.
Boulders came crashing down into Wabasha Street in St. Paul in April. The city closed the road for the summer — forcing traffic onto side streets. And that’s a problem for the Taylor family.
WCCO’s Angela Davis explains what they blame for growing cracks in their retaining wall.
There is still rubble and debris in the street from that rock slide on April 28.
Next week, crews will begin building a retaining wall and when it’s done in three months, Wabasha Street will re-open. But a family living in a house at the top of the bluff says every day, traffic is detoured onto their street, they are seeing more damage to their property.
Ohio Street is not a route for trucks, at least that’s what the signs say. But for the last few months, heavy traffic has barreled down this neighborhood street.
“We see full-fuel semis to full semi produce trucks up and down the street on a daily basis,” Homeowner Suzanne Taylor said.
When Suzanne and Dana Taylor bought their house three years ago, it was views of downtown St. Paul that captured their hearts. Now they have this to look at.
“You can see the wall is crumbling at its base. There are a number of bricks that have already come out and are on the actual driveway,” Family Attorney Kristin Rowell said.
Kristin Rowell is an attorney the Taylors hired to notify the city of the problem.
“As the traffic has increased both by volume and by weight, the wall has significantly deteriorated,” Rowell said.
The Taylors believe the cracking and crumbling of their wall is directly tied to traffic that’s been re-routed onto their street because of road construction projects in downtown St. Paul, and the recent closure of Wabasha Street.
“The most significant deterioration to the wall has happened in the last two to three months,” Rowell said.
“We are worried about the safety and soundness of the wall. We are frustrated and we want it fixed,” Suzanne Taylor said. “The city is responsible for the maintenance and care of the roads and the impact the roadways have on our property. And we want them to take responsibility for that.”
The Taylors say when they bought their house in 2015, an inspection of the retaining wall revealed no problems with it. They want the city to enforce the law that is supposed to keep heavy trucks and buses off the street, and to pay for the repair of their retaining wall.
We got a statement from the St. Paul City Attorney’s Office, saying the staff has “received the letter from the homeowners’ attorney this week. We take matters raised by Saint Paul residents seriously and the City Attorney’s Office will look further into the issue.”