According to Cody Brand, a soils engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 8, the underground movement that has created a giant fissure running down a section of Highway 67 is finally starting to slow down.
MnDOT is currently working on a plan to address the slope fissure which originally caused the fissure back in early spring. Even if the planning and preparation go smoothly, road work is not expected to begin until the summer of 2020.
Brand explained that any option will likely carry a large price tag, though he stressed that no formal analysis has yet been conducted. Rough estimates put the total cost at between $3 and $15 million.
State officials are weighing a variety of options for addressing the road fissure. The first choice requires the installation of pipes connecting to a drainage system at a depth of 90 feet beneath the road surface. Part of this plan requires additional work to stabilize the east bank of the Yellow Medicine River. By reducing the volume of water running under the road, engineers hope to prevent additional soil erosion.
Another option consists of either building a bridge to span the roughly 1,500-foot problem area or re-routing the road entirely. This solution is potentially confounded by the lack of feasible crossing points over the Yellow Medicine River.