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What’s being done about 26th street collapse

Posted at 11:19 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 07:50:29-05

BALTIMORE, Md. — It’s been a month of heavy equipment as scenery and trying to fall asleep to the hum of massive generators for the people living near the 26th street collapse zone.

On Thursday night the Department of Transportation and CSX Transportation were fielding some of the many concerns from the people that live there.

Muhammed Khalid, the Chief Engineer for DOT, said the wall has been stabilized and consultants have been picked to develop the new wall design.

The lower part of that part of the wall will be strengthened with plates and the upper part will be replaced.

Khalid said the collapse happened because of a combination of a historically wet year causing high levels of water pressure, soil erosion, and a retaining wall that was built over 100 years ago.

Khalid said they’lll do an inspection of the entire wall along 26th street.

Something they did after the 2014 collapse that happened on the other side.

Steve Sakamoto-Wengel, who lives around the corner on Guilford, doesn’t want to see history repeat itself again.

“The similar sidewalk about 20 years ago in the same area which took about 10 years before the city and CSX repaired it,” said Sakamoto-Wengel. “We want to make sure what’s happening is being done right and being doing promptly.”

Part of that promptness meant 24/7 construction keeping people up at night.

Kirsch Jones who lives on Guilford Ave. said DOT and CSX have been much more receptive to their concerns this time around.

“We got partial answers, they have already done some things I know. Including getting a quiet zone so they don’t have to use the train whistle every time they cross during the night.”

DOT did an inspection of the entire wall along 26th street after the collapse in 2014, and they still had the incident in November of this year.

Khalid assured the crowd that this inspection will be more comprehensive.

Laura Flamm, who lives on Guilford Ave., said she and other community members had been working to make the block more enjoyable and this is a major setback.

She said the city has been receptive to their requests and hopes they follow through.

“They said they would restore the agility trail that we had painted on the sidewalk just two months ago. That they would lay wiring and install pedestrian lighting and that they would restore the tree wells that were there. They were actually just widened three months ago so we could have more greenery.”

DOT expects to have a preliminary wall design in the next few weeks.

From there a rough estimate on when this job will be done is for the summer of next year.