ALTON. IL – Part of a scenic street in an Alton historical district is gone after a major landslide does big damage to the area.
It happened late Sunday night on Riverview Drive along the Alton bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River.
While city leaders are trying to figure out how to fix the mess, residents in the area are still trying to digest what happened.
“I heard it,” said Chara Munrow who lives just feet from where the landslide happened.
Chara explained, “Have you ever been in the mountains…and when rocks go down that`s what it sounded like.”
Alton city officials say the landslide destroyed part of Riverview Drive and a section of retaining wall that runs along the street right by Riverview Park.
Alton`s Public Works Director Bob Barnhart says the problem started in the spring of last year when heavy rains caused erosion in the area.
Last July, crews noticed minor shifting of the retaining wall along Riverview Drive and closed the street.
Some additional shifting was noticed a couple of weeks ago.
Barnhart says discussions were underway to try and deal with the problem but then came the landslide.
“Mother Nature has her way with us,” said Barnhart.
He added, “The ground under the wall actually finally gave way and just slid away.”
Tuesday evening, Alton city leaders talked about a resolution expected to be approved at a city council meeting on Wednesday.
It would allow for an emergency clean up and stabilization work, and would also authorize an engineering company to look for a long-term solution.
“The ultimate goal is to stabilize and do a permanent fix so that generations to come can enjoy that park and that area,” said Mayor Walker.
“It`s upsetting in that it happened and can it happen more,” said Chara.
She added, “I want to see the city take care of this part of town.”
Mayor Walker says the city has invested a lot in that area and plans to do more.
Walker says the fix here could cost around one million dollars.
He is trying to get FEMA to help with the repair costs since the mayor believes the historic rains from last year led to the collapse.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt.