Bids to be taken to repair wall near Washington Street bridge

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bids will be accepted for a project to repair Washington Street and a retaining wall south of the bridge at Clark Street.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday authorized City Clerk Walter Osborne to advertise for bids to repair the wall and the street that has been restricted to automobile traffic since problems were discovered with the wall in February.

Neither Mayor Paul Winfield nor city attorney Lee Thames would give the estimated cost for the project.

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Saradhi Balla of IMS Engineers, the project manager for the repairs, said the work is expected to take about 45 days.

He said the street repairs involve replacing 10 paved panels on the street and repairing the roadbed, adding the street is uneven from moisture under the road.

The street was paved with 10- by 20-foot concrete sections, or pallets.

“What we will do is remove the panels and let the soil dry out,” Balla said. “There are several ways that can be done.”

He said the retaining wall will be braced by about 30 anchors installed horizontally and vertically in the ground and against the wall to keep it from moving. He said the wall is structurally sound.

The board declared an emergency and restricted traffic on Washington Street south of the bridge in late February after a city crew repairing a water leak saw the wall move as heavy trucks went by, adding there is a gap between the wall and the slope.

The problems was discovered shortly after a new bridge was opened to traffic after the thoroughfare was closed for three years for construction. City officials have said the problem with the wall, which was built in 1929 when the bridge was built or the early 1930s, is not related to the bridge.

When the emergency was declared, the board ordered that vehicles weighing more than 26,001 pounds, which includes tractor-trailer rigs, log trucks, school buses and large emergency vehicles, be detoured from the street.

The Washington Street bridge was closed in 2009 while Kansas City Southern Railway and Kanza Construction Co. of Topeka, Kan., replaced the bridge with a concrete bridge atop a railroad tunnel.