US Route 2 Landslide

SECTOR: Geohazards

Crookston, Minnesota


Traffic diverted before catastrophic failure

Steep river banks and clay soil near highways have led to numerous slide events near Crookston, MN, over the past 50 years. In September 2003, a landslide in downtown Crookston between US Route 2 and the Red Lake River caused significant property damage, leading the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to investigate new monitoring solutions. The department had used traditional inclinometers, but was interested in automation and remote collection of data. A pilot project determined the viability of Measurand’s ShapeArray to be installed in two roadway sections experiencing stress related to erosion and soil instability.

ShapeArray data revealed that soil movements at the Crookston East site were deeper than anticipated. With this new data, experts determined that the slope was no longer creeping, but rather a major failure was occurring. The MnDOT closed the westbound lanes of US 2 and detoured traffic north of the city on Monday, Sept. 15, 2008. Ten days later, a large progressive landslide occurred, dropping a 150 m section of highway three metres. The slide continued over several days. ShapeArray helped engineers ensure that no members of the public were hurt during the sliding event.

ShapeArray survived unprecedented deformation during and after the event. The instruments continued to provide engineers with useful data until the slide forced the casing to move from their vertical down-hole position to a horizontal one. The system remains in place and provides valuable data to the MnDOT.

  • 1993

    The Beginning

    Measurand is established in Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • 1994

    Bend sensor development

    Measurand develops and patents fiber optic bend and position sensors for the medical and automotive sectors

    U.S. Patent 5,321,257

  • 1995

    Canadian Space Agency

    Receives funding from the CSA to develop sensor technology that ultimately leads to invention of ShapeTape

    U.S. Patent 5,633,494

  • 1999

    Patent on fiber optic sensor

    Measurand receives patent for "Fiber Optic Bending and Positioning Sensor" issued June 29, 1999

    Canadian Patent 2,073,162

  • 2001

    ShapeTape & ShapeHand debut

    Measurand designs and develops innovative motion capture technology

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2002

    Measurand Attends the ICPMG

    First contact with the geotechnical sector at the International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (ICPMG)
  • 2004


    Design patent application sent about a new product designed to meet the specific needs of the geotechnical industry

    U.S. Patent 6,127,672, 6,563,107

  • 2005-08


    Measurand debuts ShapeWrap motion capture technology for the film and animation industry

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2006

    Malibu installation

    ShapeAccelArray installed for ground monitoring for the first time​ in Malibu, CA

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2007


    Suite of instrumentation developed for motion capture within Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines

    U.S. Patent 7,296,363

  • 2011

    SAAScan launched

    Built for rapid deployment and repeated use

    Canadian Patent 2,472,421

  • 2014

    SAAX launched

    Purpose-built for heavy-duty horizontal installation

    Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,815,195

  • 2017

    SAAV launched

    The only geotechnical instrument with a patented cyclical installation method

    Cyclical Sensor Array, Canadian application 2,815,199 & 2,911,175