Tom Young, County Engineer, and Eureka County Commissioners recently discussed how to proceed with the monitoring of the Paul Street Retaining Wall in the Eureka.
Young noted the wall has been surveyed since 2010 and he doesn’t think the wall is moving. Young said the “walls are stable but not compliant” and while “not dangerous for ordinary loads” he doesn’t expect stability should an earthquake occur. Replacement of the wall is estimated to have a price tag of between $600,000 to $1.5 million since it involves utilities and drainage on the back side of the wall and entails more than just the wall.
Young said, “I think we can do a couple of things” including stopping the surveying and saying the County has “done enough due diligence.” Young noted the survey report says the walls haven’t changed over the past18 years hasn’t changed or in the last 3 years.
Young summarized the County can move to monitoring the wall once a year, or could “or initiate a process to replace the wall over time or in one shot.”
Chairman J.J. Goicoechea said, “We know it’s not moving” and didn’t “have the appetite to spend half a million on that” as the County will need to “reach for that half a million over the next years.”
Young said if the wall fails it will likely be due to a flood or earthquake and with County-installed survey monitors manually tied-in can check the wall “when we want to.”
Ron Damele said, “Surveying once a year is a good idea” as long as the work as incorporated into other work being done so as not to require a special trip.
The Commission approved continued surveying and monitoring of the wall on an annual basis when the surveyors are in town on other business.