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Ellicott City Retaining Wall, Closer to a Fix?

County officials have nearly finalized a new design for one of Ellicott City's crumbled retaining walls.

A fix is nearing approval for a retaining wall that collapsed in the fall of 2011, destroying several cars and blocking parking spaces and the view to a local business, according to county officials. 

The design for the wall's reconstruction will see a total of seven parking spaces lost, according to Steve Sharar, chief of the Transportation and Special Projects Division of Public Works.

A public hearing is scheduled for March 12 at 7:30 p.m. in front of the Board of Public Works to discuss the design of a new retaining wall at the intersection of Mulligans Hill Lane and St. Paul Street, according Sharar.

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The March hearing will focus on whether the tentative design for the retaining wall meets scenic roads guidelines; both St. Paul Street and Mulligans Hill Lane are classified by the county as scenic roads.

“We believe it does meet those requirements,” Sharar said. “Our preference is to use as much stone from the original wall as we can in the new wall.”

That original stone still sits at the intersection, but is covered by more stone that was added to support the hill behind the wall. All those rocks are blocking visibility of Parking Lot C and Ghost Town Odditorium, a tattoo shop on Mulligans Hill Lane.  

Sharar said that the county had been negotiating with the Archdiocese and St. Paul’s Church on a plan that would ensure the safety of the Dohony Hall building, which sits a few feet from the area where the ground gave in during Tropical Storm Lee.

The design has not been completely finalized, Sharar said, and "we have certain other things we have to do" before construction can begin, including securing the federal money that will mostly fund the wall's estimated $550,000 repair. 

If all goes well, however, construction should begin this year, Sharar said, "Hopefully sometime this summer." 

This article has been updated to include the cost of repairing the wall.

J. W. Huey March 01, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Since seven parking spaces will be lost one must assume the new wall will be similar to the repaired wall behind the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, a slope leading to a wall lower than the original. I don`t have a problem with that as long as some if not all of the original stones are used, rather than the execrable fake stone "pavers" that have been used elsewhere, most recently in the wall bordering St. Paul Street. I also hope the two spaces across from the wall reserved for B&O Railroad Station Museum staff will be put back. In any case it will be good to be rid of the rat infested pile of rip-rap that has been there for a year and a half.
Brandie Jefferson March 01, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Steve said that the plan right now is to use as many as the original stones as possible to help comply with the scenic roads mandate. They're stil there ... just under a pile of other rocks. And grass. The cars were removed, though. After they started smoldering: patch.com/A-mbyz

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