BALTIMORE — The rain seems to be taking its toll on another incline in Baltimore.
A few weeks after rain triggered the potential collapse of E. 26th Street, just two blocks from where a retaining wall collapsed in 2014, “slippage” has been reported at Federal Hill Park, according to Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello.
Social media posts by Costello say hillside of the park is eroding in the 900 block of Covington Street. It began at some point Thursday evening.
Costello said he asked the Director of Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks and the Director of the Baltimore City Department of Transportation to inspect the site and cone off the road immediately. He also wanted a determination of if Covington Street should be closed until the problem is fixed and cleaned up.
Reached by phone, Costello said BCRP and DPW personnel are in the process of responding. He said there have been some drainage issues in the park for the past few years, with an issue with water not properly flowing to sewers being the likely source of the problem.
Costello said he is working with the Maryland Legislative District “Team 46” colleagues – State Senator Bill Ferguson, and Delegates Luke Clippenger, Brooke Lierman, and Robyn Lewis – to address the issue at the state level. Ferguson is contacting the Maryland Historical Trust, and the group is working to explore long-term structural/stabilization issues related to the park over the past year.
As subsequent post explained that the City and engineering firm RK&K are designing a long-term solution for the East Slope of the park, but due to current conditions, a short-term solution is underway.
Costello laid out the five-step plan in his post.
First, BCRP has obtained 200 sandbags and are deploying them at Warren and Hamburg Streets to line the curb above storm drains, in the hopes the bags will redirect water into the drains.
Second, 200 feet of 10-inch flex pipe and the necessary clamp have been purchased. "Both Warren Street drains dump onto the hill about 15 feet below the sidewalk at the ridge, they are not connected to the infrastructure," Costello's said in the post. "I have attached the flex pipe to the existing outflow pipe to relocate storm water discharge at Covington Street gutter." By mid-afternoon, a plan should be in place is designed to grade and stabilize the bottom of the slope. From there estimates will be requested from pre-qualified contractors.
Costello included a quote from the Baltimore City Department of Finance, who would have to approve emergency funding for the repairs.
"Baltimore City Recreation and Parks understand concerns of our citizens, and we are putting our attention and manpower to help solve the problem," the quote said. "I have solicited help from DOT and DPW engineering teams to review the proposed solution from R.K&K. I have attached the contractor initial plan to include DPW clearing storm drains and repairing any leaks. Director Chow confirm that they completed the task yesterday.“