TR Park Visitors Center Closing - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

TR Park Visitors Center Closing

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The Badlands' charm stems from the heavily eroded, active geology.

But sometimes that topography causes trouble for road maintenance --- and even buildings.

That's the case for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park - North Unit Visitors Center that was closed indefinitely this week. (July 17)

The 110 square miles of the park is covered with a layer of Bentonite Clay.

When that clay layer gets wet, it swells and slides down the hillside.

The ground is sliding behind the building - pushing park officials to move out --- and this was not the first time.

The building was built in 1991.

The cracks in the walls and the buckling of the foundation were repaired once in 2002, but the above-average rain totals the past several years started the shifting process again in 2011.

(Eileen Andes, Chief of Interpretation & Public Affairs) "There's no immediate danger. But we are concerned about visitors safety, employee safety and it's not cost effective to repair the building again even if it could be repaired."

The temporary visitors center in Juniper Campground is fully-functioning and ready for visitors.

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