Update July 2, 2019:
A temporary fix has been completed and the trail has reopened. Regional funding has been allocated for a permanent fix in the long-term future.
Update May 31, 2019:
Funding has been secured and a temporary fix is underway. Please do not use the trail at this time as it is unsafe for you and the contractors working on the trail. The fix is expected to be complete by the end of June.
Update April 15, 2019:
MnDOT is working on a plan for a temporary fix until the trail can be permanently repaired. Construction on the temporary fix is expected to begin in mid-summer and be completed early fall 2019.
Update April 11, 2018:
The MPCA has made their new webpage available. It can be viewed here.
Update March 27, 2018:
A meeting with community members was held in February 2018. Since that meeting, MnDOT has engaged engineers to start a design for the trail repairs in the area of the trail closure. The goal of these repairs is to open the trail this Summer and will most likely result in a non-paved surface. They anticipate the design to be completed by mid-April, 2018. MnDOT and the City will hold a community meeting to discuss results of the engineering review once complete.
In addition, the pursuit of installing a boardwalk along the northern edge of Little Pigs Eye Lake is no longer an immediate option. The City was notified after the February meeting that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is in the process of undergoing environmental clean-up in the area. This clean-up will result in the removal of the boardwalk.
It is our understanding that the MPCA will provide more information on a new webpage they are creating for their work in the area. An update on this page will be provided when that information is available.
Update October 25, 2017:
MnDOT will be performing some ditch work on the east side of TH 61 this week. They hope to see a reduction in hydro-static pressure on the western slope as measured through piezometers they have installed.
We are still working through engineering recommendations for slope and trail repair.
Update October 2, 2017:
MnDOT has gotten 3 readings from the piezometers and the inclinometer. The piezometers indicate that groundwater is collecting on the east side of 61.
MnDOT is looking at a project to restore the drainage on the east side of Hwy 61 and they will be evaluating culverts in the area as part of the surface-water work. The hope is that this will reduce water pressure in the embankment and improve the stability of the slope that is failing. They continue to collect data.
Update September 13, 2017:
The MnDOT Foundations Unit has installed 2 piezometers along TH 61 to monitor groundwater. Data collection will take approximately 3 weeks. Additional exploration of the situation might be needed, depending on the information gathered as we need to go where the data takes us. Once a determination has been made if the information gathered is sufficient, recommendations for improving the embankment will be drafted.
Update August 24, 2017:
The City and MnDOT continue the geotechnical investigation work for a better understanding of the cause of the slope failure. Soil borings have been taken in the failure area and inclinometers, which measure horizontal movement, have been installed at the bottom of the slope. The inclinometer readings indicate soil movement at lower depths below the trail surface. MnDOT’s Foundations unit will be conducting additional testing to the east of the failure area within their ROW to capture a bigger picture of what may be occurring at these lower depths. The additional testing is tentatively scheduled to start next week. MnDOT and the City will meet again shortly thereafter to discuss the results and possible short-term and/or long-term solutions for reopening the trail.
Update April 20, 2017: Initial repair work with regards to stormwater runoff across the trail and culvert repair will begin late spring 2017, but further geotechnical evaluation is still needed before a full repair can take place. The trail is not expected to reopen during summer 2017. A geotechnical evaluation is currently underway and further updates will be available upon its completion.