Rims Rock Removal - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Rims Rock Removal

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BILLINGS -

Crews moved in to begin work on the rocks along Zimmerman Trail just after a recent rock fall. Monday night, city council members also heard about another precarious rock pile.

Driving along Sixth Avenue North from the Heights, many people don't ever look up. Geostabilization, the company working Zimmerman Trail's rocks, surveyed the rims to see if there were any other issues.

"When Geostabilization and the engineers came and looked at this they discovered that part of the problem is that it is hanging in such a way that when it comes down it will likely land on Sixth Avenue,” said Tina Volek, city administrator.

City council members passed an emergency rock remediation project to contract with Geostabilization to remove that rock formation in Swords Park above Sixth Avenue North.

"Because as we saw on Zimmerman Trail, they're coming down on their own and the problem is we don't know when,” Volek said.

Public Works staff originally estimated the cost of the project to be $200,000. But the new estimate is around half a million because there are utilities below Sixth Avenue North so they'll have to bring in dirt to cushion the rock's fall.

"This is a significant amount of money but still leaves us with a significant amount of reserves that we can use in the coming years,” Volek said.

City administrators say $200,000 will come from Public Works, and the rest will come from the unbudgeted reserves in the general fund, which is about $11.5 million. Those reserves right now are being used to supplement public safety. City administrators say they'll have an exact estimate in the next few days.

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