Geologist urges Burlington to take action to prevent Riverside Ave. landslides

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A local geologist is urging the city of Burlington to take more action to prevent future landslides on Riverside Avenue.

Paul Bierman, a professor of geology and natural resources at the University of Vermont, gave a presentation before the Conservation Board Monday night.

He talked about the history of landslides at Riverside Avenue.

The latest one happened just after the Halloween storm. Bierman says Riverside Avenue became more landslide-prone just in the past 50 years.

He says that’s likely because people started constructing more buildings and parking lots, which weighs it down. They’ve also been dumping debris and waste there.

Bierman believes the city can do more to protect that area.

“It’s probably going to involve a combination of stabilizing these particular slopes, perhaps through green means, planting trees, planting grass, getting good cover on there, and probably removing buildings especially those in harm’s way and those that may, in fact, be loading the tops of those slopes,” said Bierman.

Bierman also suggests the city implement zoning changes in an effort to better regulate how many people and buildings are allowed there.