Photo by Willapa Harbor Drone - Willapa Harbor Drone flew over the Yellow Deli slide on Wednesday, August 21 while workers looked at the scene to determine what could be done. The slide hit the rear of the current building at the location and sections of
The Yellow Deli project in South Bend has been put on hold after an unexpected landslide plummeted into the rear of the building and outlying parking lot. The deli was working to remove a toe at the bottom of the slope to give an incoming building more room.
Yellow Deli Project
According to South Bend City Supervisor Dennis Houk, Yellow Deli is planning to tear down the current double-wide trailer sitting on the property on Robert Bush Drive so that another building can be brought in.
"There was a building permit that was pulled on it," Houk stated. "In that, we asked for an engineering analysis from a geo-tech and they provided all of that. I sent it off to our engineers and they approved the plans. In the meantime, they started construction and during that time the toe of the slope was removed. They had to do that in order to get the new footing for the retaining wall."
Houk Continued, "at some point after that is when it slipped. When that happened I contacted our engineers to let them know what had happened with some photos and everything. They reviewed everything and asked that there be a stop-work order put in place."
The slide, according to Houk and the engineers, was not anticipated to happen and before any more work can be done a new plan has to be put into place with contingencies just in case any more movement on the hillside were to happen. Once the plan and necessary documents are prepared, Houk will send them off to the city's engineers and their geo-tech for review.
"Everybody is on the same page now," Houk said. "There isn't any animosity. The Yellow Deli is perfectly fine with everything as far as what the city is requiring. Until we get those documents reviewed and approved by the engineers and city, the stop order will be in place."
Residents urged to stay calm
Houk admits that there is still a risk of additional movement and slides along the slope and it's for that reason the city is taking extra precautions with the project moving forward. One of the largest concerns is from residents above the slide who are concerned whether the unstable slope will put their homes in danger and require eventual evacuations.
"When you stand up top you can see where two other slips have happened in the past," Houk said. "It's right about 10 feet back and that's exactly what slipped this last time. My assumption is the portion that is left will slip at that same rate."
During the removal of the toe, foliage along the hillside was cleared creating a bare hillside of rock and dirt with a small retaining wall at the bottom. The portion that has collapsed is still within the property owned by the Yellow Deli. The timeframe for when the project will resume is unknown.
Residents in South Bend and Raymond who have driven passed the project admit that they expected a landslide to happen at some point but not until the rainy season reappears this fall. One resident commented, "I cannot understand what they were thinking of trying to do there. It makes no sense. It makes no sense at all. I bet the rest of it comes down too. I would be worried if I was living above that."
The city and Houk, however, are optimistic it won't get worse. "You can try and plan for things like that to happen," Houk said. "But it's nearly impossible."