Landslide shuts down Spring Avenue in Troy

TROY – When a city is built between hilltops and valleys no one is really surprised when a landslide occurs. In the city of Troy, it’s actually part of their history.

Landslide shuts down Spring Avenue in Troy

The day's major news events, business reports, local sports updates, weather information and tomorrow's forecast are presented by the NewsChannel 13 Team.

When the oversaturated clay hillside overlooking Spring Avenue gave way this week, it created not just a danger zone, but also a sense of deja vu in a section of Troy that is all too familiar with sliding soil.

“At this point in time we have a pretty good understanding of where the sensitive areas are,” said Russ Reeves, Troy’s City Engineer. “We’ve been monitoring them. I think the likelihood of this happening again is slim. It could happen but slim.”

Reeves knows that doing nothing after a landslide is never an option.

“Once you have a landslide, it releases a tremendous amount of energy, but unless you mitigate the landslide, it will continue to move,” he said.

The mitigation process began after tons of mud, debris, and trees slid down the hillside, severing two power poles and knocking down five more.

The solution includes drainage pipes and slope modification, a remedy that can’t come soon enough for homeowners at the top of the Spring Avenue Hill.

“I think they’re out of the immediate danger zone,” Reeves said.

Mitigation and mishaps have happened before:

In April, 1987, a home at 86 Spring Avenue was demolished by a wall of mud.

In August, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene was blamed after three buildings on Brunswick Road were destroyed.

Back in 1890, the local newspapers reported three people were killed on Havermans Avenue from a landslide.

And way back in 1859, a massive landslide destroyed Saint Peter’s College in Troy.

“It predominantly occurs where we have a lot of water migrating around these hills and embankment areas,” Reeves said. “They don’t call this Spring Avenue for nothing.”