COVINGTON - The City of Covington, with other public service providers, estimate that work on the slide of a retaining wall that impacted four residential homes, will be completed by the end of the month.
On December 13, 2013, four homes along Caroline Avenue were impacted when the retaining wall and hillside in front of their property slid away from their homes. The water main located in front of their properties also broke. The cause of the failure is still unknown at this time but investigative work has been performed to help determine the cause. The focus of the City of Covington, the Northern Kentucky Water District, and local geotechnical engineering firms has continued to be to to work together to fix the wall, repair the surrounding property, and get the residents back in their homes.
The following is an update on the work:
Survey work on the road side of the retaining wall to help determine the cause of the failure is happening today and tomorrow.
Starting early next week, demolition of the existing wall will take place. The rock will be benched in to provide additional support. While this work is taking place, the Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD) and Duke Gas will be installing new services to the nearby homes in the back of the buildings.
Scherzinger Drilling is set to begin installing the piers for the "temporary" shoring wall as soon as the existing wall has been removed. This work is expected be completed in about seven days after commencement of the project. Once completed, Duke Electric will re-install their service which is estimated to take approximately two days. Pending weather conditions, it is anticipated that residents will be able to return to their homes by the end of the month.
Typically, a project of this size and nature would take six months to complete. However, due to the fact that residents were removed for safety reasons, both City Commission and City Management declared the situation an emergency. This status allowed the City Engineer, Mike Yeager, to expedite procurement policy to get all contractors in place and to begin work immediately. Emergency Status on the project also permitted all of the utility companies to adopt the high priority of the project and operate with the same sense of urgency.
Yeager says "The City has been working nonstop to try to get the residents back into their homes as soon as possible. The timing could not have been worse for them with the holidays and with this being hillside development, it is a complicated fix that involves a lot of contractors and utility companies. We are all working as fast as we can to get everyone back in their homes."
Once the temporary wall is complete, work on the permanent wall will begin. Plans are for the wall, sidewalk and walkways to look similar to the previous wall, before the slide.