Saint Paul Public Works to Build Gabion Wall to Reopen Wabasha Street

Saint Paul Public Works to Build Gabion Wall to Reopen Wabasha Street
Wabasha Street from Plato to Cesar Chavez to remain closed through summer for construction

Saint Paul (June 20, 2018) – The City of Saint Paul has approved the construction of a 250-foot long gabion wall along the Wabasha bluff in order to safely reopen Wabasha Street. Preparations to begin construction will begin immediately with full construction likely to commence the week of June 25, 2018.

Wabasha Street between Plato and Cesar Chavez was closed at the end of April when unexpected slope failure occurred, scattering large debris from the rock formation above across Wabasha Street.

The city hired the Itasca Group to survey and assess the bluff and to make recommendations for actions to protect public safety and infrastructure.  Removing identified sections of the limestone bluff was considered as an option by city officials.  However, the final decision was to build a gabion wall.  A gabion wall is a retaining wall made of stacked rocks contained in wire baskets (see attached example). The finished gabion wall along the Wabasha bluff is expected to be 12 feet tall, 9 feet wide.

“Construction of a gabion wall achieves the City’s objectives of re-opening Wabasha Street quickly, safely and cost effectively,” said Public Works Director Kathy Lantry. “In addition, this less invasive solution protects the public and roadway from natural erosion of the bluff without the risk of further destabilizing the bluff or drastically impacting the private properties adjacent to the roadway.”

Construction of the wall, along with Wabasha Street repairs and clean up, is expected to take 12 weeks. Estimated total costs are $1.1 million for this project to safely reopen Wabasha Street.

Lisa Hiebert
Saint Paul Public Works
651-266-6129 (office)