The Corp of Engineers at Wilson Reservoir is continuing to monitor a year-old earthen slide at the entrance to Lucas Park, according to Park Manager Nolan Fisher.
The monitoring will not affect park activities for Memorial Day weekend.
“The park will be open as usual, but we want to make sure people are still aware that there is only one way in and one way out of the park,” he said. “It’s important that people drive slowly, take precautions and follow the detour signs for everyone’s safety.”
Fisher said the Corps of Engineers purchased the park property in 1960 and has had to do maintenance at the location since then.
“It was an old roadway that we have to continue treating with asphalt,” he said. “There are steep embankments on both sides of that roadway. For the past 15 years, the side banks have started to slide slowly each year.”
Drought, then rain
Last May, Fisher said, the park received about 9 inches of rain in 20 days.
“That was right as we were coming out of a drought,” he said. “For the past five years we’ve had very little or below normal rain. That causes the soil to shrink and crack, exposing those cracks. With that amount of rain coming in at once, the water slid through the cracks, supersaturating the soil.”
Fisher said the road now has no shoulder. Instead, there’s a 5-foot vertical cliff at the edge of the asphalt.
“We’re just fortunate to have another way for people to get out of the park,” he said.