Landslip issue may be tip of the iceberg

News last week that the city has closed Maple Street Extension because of a huge landslip won’t be much of an inconvenience to local travelers. However, it could leave a sizeable hole in the city’s budget.

The road provided an access route onto and off of Harmar Hill, but motorists still can travel Pearl St. Extension, Lancaster Street and Groves Avenue.

The other three roads are much more heavily traveled than Maple Street Extension, which is a narrow, two-lane road dotted with potholes. Approaching motorists routinely pull over to let oncoming traffic pass, just to be careful.

If you look closely, you can see a stairway up the hill that once was used by students walking to and from Marietta High School, which is now Marietta Middle School.

Closing the road signifies the city’s recognition of a serious landslip problem. As wet as the winter was, there could be many other landslip issues cropping up this spring as clay soil slips off bedrock below the surface.

Repairing the Maple Street slip probably will be expensive, officials say Money for repairs will have to compete with a long list of other city budget needs. A really expensive fix could put the city in a financial bind. It’s even possible, experts have told city council, that the current landslip is holding up another slip, further complicating repairs.

Funding is being sought to fix another Harmar Hill slip on Bellvue Street, which has been closed since 2011. So, the process can be time consuming.

For now, the best way to go appears to be keeping the road closed to cars, trucks, motorcycles and bikes and hope it doesn’t get worse. If you’re a pedestrian, use the road at your own risk. If we’re lucky, this will be the worst landslip problem encountered by the city this spring.