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Progress made at Bluebird Canyon

WHAT’S UP:

Flamingo Road landslide.

WHAT:

Restoration of infrastructure damaged in the June 1 landslide in Bluebird Canyon.

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WHAT’S BEHIND IT:

Twenty-two homes were damaged in the landslide, at least 11 irreparably. The canyon was evacuated with no loss of life, and most of the 350 families were back in their homes within 48 hours.

The city declared an emergency, which needs to be re-approved every two weeks.

Winterization of the failed slope to forestall further erosion and protect the property above the headscarp -- where the slide clawed a chasm in the hillside -- is underway. All destroyed homes have been removed. Permanent repairs will begin after the winter rains.

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WHAT NOW:

The city needed to remove about 10,000 cubic yards of dirt from the slide area and couldn’t find a site to dump the dirt except a county landfill, which would have cost about $200,000 between dump fees and the transportation costs. But a proposed storm drain project to protect Canyon Acres from the Atlantic Way runoff needed a dirt cover, estimated at 10,000 cubic yards.

Thus the city saved money by sending the dirt to the storm drain project, a plan approved by the design board.Community Recovery Coordinator Bob Burnham told the City Council Tuesday that if the dirt wasn’t removed from Bluebird Canyon, winterization would grind to a halt -- not good for a project that must be completed before the rainy season begins.

The council awarded Bubalo the contract on a time-and-materials basis, with a minimum cost of $550,000 and a maximum of $630,000, which was still lower than the second bid of $700,000 for just the Atlantic Way project.

WHAT’S SAID:

“We will save some $200,000 by not hauling the dirt,” City Manager Ken Frank said.

WHAT’S NEXT:

Dirt relocation was scheduled to start Thursday. Winterization will continue.

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-- By Barbara Diamond


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