Cracked wall poses no danger, ELO officials say

EAST LIVERPOOL – A retaining wall along St. Clair Avenue considered a danger by three private citizens actually poses no immediate threat, according to city officials.

In a letter sent July 28 to the mayor, service-safety director and law director, Jackman Vodrey, David Buzzard and Robert Gardner expressed their concerns about the concrete wall at the southeast corner of Jackman Street and St. Clair Avenue, saying a vertical crack has appeared in the wall, which supports Jackman Street.

According to the letter writers, it appears the crack has widened, resulting in a portion of the wall leaning toward the southbound lane of St. Clair Avenue, which they pointed out is a “heavily traveled city thoroughfare.”

They asked that the wall’s condition be addressed immediately, writing, “It doesn’t take much to imagine the consequences of the failure of the retaining wall if it should fall onto a passing vehicle or school bus, resulting in injury to persons and/or property.”

The letter was also forwarded to Steve Cooper, the city’s insurance agent, in the hopes he would notify the insurance carrier about the matter.

Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell said this week he had actually addressed the condition of the wall before receiving the letter.

“Prior to receiving the letter, the city had noticed the wall had shifted and requested a quote from (engineering firm) Dallis Dawson and Associates,” Estell said.

The quote was for establishing points to determine where the two pieces of wall are currently located and then monitoring its location on a monthly basis to watch for any movement.

Estell said the quote was between $500 and $1,000 for the initial set-up and then another couple hundred dollars per month for the monthly checks, saying the city has not yet contracted with the firm.

“As with everything, the issue is money. We don’t know how much we can spare. We have to get other current issues that are large-money issues settled before we tackle another potential problem,” Estell said.

He emphasized the wall has been inspected regularly and has not appeared to have shifted since winter and that planning Director Bill Cowan also looked at it.

“No one feels it is an imminent threat to the public,” Estell said. “We’ve been keeping an eye on it for some time.”