Collapsed Retaining Wall Causes Conflict at City Hall

Photographer: Amanda J. Raaska

On Tuesday Oct. 15, Councilmember Ronald Allen had a heated discussion with City Manager Aron Kulhavy during a city council meeting.

The heated exchange concerned a collapsed retaining wall that had fallen onto a sidewalk near the corner of Avenue J and 7th Street on the way to Mance Park Middle School. The retaining wall fell due a broken water line, forcing pedestrians to walk in the street.

Kulhavy said that there are two collapsed retaining walls involved, one belongs to Huntsville Independent School District and the other belongs to the city. The city was waiting for HISD to fix the retaining wall on their property before going in and fixing the retaining wall next to the sidewalk.
“This has been going on for nearly five months, that people are having to walk in the street, and it is unacceptable,” Allen said.

Allen and other councilmembers were concerned that it was not safe for children walking to school because they were forced to walk on that narrow street due to construction barricades blocking the sidewalk.
Kulhavy said that HISD is planning a project to replace their retaining wall so a “permanent solution can’t be done now.”

The city has posted a police officer to protect children walking to and from school where the sidewalk is blocked. The city has also built a temporary walkway around the sidewalk construction.

“Fortunately for this location, it is a low traffic and a low foot traffic area, I mean for school age kids,” officer Zachary Duer said while on duty the next afternoon at the site.

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