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Shifting Soil Causes Problems At Badlands Visitor Center

April 23, 2014, 6:12 PM by Kevin Woster

Shifting Soil Causes Problems At Badlands Visitor Center

The visitor center at Badlands National Park doesn't look so welcoming these days. Construction crews have ripped up the front parking lot because of shifting soil.

Despite the looks, the Ben Reifel Visitor Center remains open. Visitors can use a parking lot and entrance on the west side of the building. Park Superintendent Eric Brunnemann says it will take crews five or six weeks to install a new drainage system and replace the parking lot and curbs.

"Every few years we have to do some heavy lifting. As you can tell, they call it Badlands for a reason. Badlands are eroding. The soils are very plastic. And even underneath, the asphalt the soil is moving. The water percolates through it," Brunnemann said.

After the main parking lot is replaced, lots and roads in the nearby campground will be re-surfaced. Resurfacing also will be done on most of the highway from Cactus Flats to Cedar Pass. A shifting bluff along the road will also be stabilized.

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