Heavy rains trigger local landslides - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Heavy rains trigger local landslides

(PHOTO: FOX19 NOW) (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Tuesday night's heavy rains triggered a number of mudslides across the Tri-State, sometimes snarling traffic and keeping road crews busy. 

University of Cincinnati Engineering Professor Jim Albertz says Columbia parkway's landscape and geology makes the roadway prone to mudslides. 

“It's steep, it's underlain with an enclosed bedrock and on top of that is clay so as soon as the clay gets wet it gets mobile,” Albertz said.    

Officials say when the clay becomes mobile it can slide the full weight of trees, rock and other debris, sometimes onto the roadway, despite the retaining wall. 

Professor Albertz said structures, like the retaining wall along Elberon Avenue in Lower Price Hill, are not nearly adequate enough to prevent an avalanche of mud and debris from sliding onto the roadway. 

The land was cut to put in retaining walls and then all that soil above the retaining wall really wants to move because the natural base is gone.  

Albertz said the kind of retaining wall that would keep mudslides off of Columbia parkway needs to be a lot more robust. 

“Higher and deeper so that it can use the soil on the downhill side to help anchor the wall,” Albertz said.  

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