Council tours Judson Bottom Road after rockslides

Council tours Judson Bottom Road after rockslides

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Judson Bottom Road has been closed for weeks now due to rockslides that have scattered large debris across the road, making it undriveable.

Today, the North Mankato City Council surveyed the area to help them decide what the city’s next steps will be.

“To see it firsthand really provides a better view than pictures from a cell phone,” Public Works Director Nate Host said.

He says the road has been unsafe for months, beginning with high water levels in March.

“It’s ever-changing. There’s three new locations since the rainfall on Saturday," Host said. "So there’s six spots now where there’s significant rock down on to the Bottom Road.”

The council agreed that removing the large pieces of rock and uprooted trees will be a multi-day job requiring several people.

“Staff has chosen not to open the road, due to the possible safety effects for passersby, whether they be on bicycles, in cars or simply walking,” City Administrator John Harrenstein said.

The question now is, what is the fate of Judson Bottom Road, a street that closes nearly every year due to unsafe conditions?

“We know that Judson Bottom Road is enjoyed by a lot of residents, whether that’s for recreation or simply travel," Harrenstein said. "We want to determine the benefits of keeping the road open, the benefits of closing it, and we want to listen to residents to see what they have to say about it.”

Judson Bottom Road will remain closed for now, as city officials predict more rockslides could occur after the next heavy rain.

And at next week’s meeting, the council will discuss the next steps in deciding whether permanent action should be taken.

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