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WRA On-Call Engineering Contract to Repair Collapsed East 26th Street and Retaining Wall.

Baltimore, MD – Around 4 p.m., on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, a century-old retaining wall located between the CSX Transportation railroad tracks and East 26th Street in Baltimore’s Charles Village neighborhood gave way. The wall, along with one lane of East 26th Street between North Charles and St. Paul streets, collapsed onto the tracks below, carrying streetlights, sidewalks, a lamppost, and eight parked cars with it.

As part of an on-call contract with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation, Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP (WRA) was called to respond to the emergency. WRA structural and geotechnical engineers were on site within 45 minutes of notification and remained there throughout the night. WRA surveyors were mobilized to survey the site, and set up survey monitoring points along the houses on the night of the incident. Additional WRA staff arrived on Thursday morning to work on overseeing procedures for stabilizing the slope and clearing the debris from the CSX tracks so that more permanent repairs could begin. WRA met with the City and the contractor to come up with a final temporary work plan and to begin mobilization of equipment on Friday, May 2nd. The result of the meeting was a plan to stabilize the area by installing 65 “soldier” pilings along the centerline of East 26th Street to stabilize the street and area in front of the homes. The crews would then excavate everything between the face of the pilings and the railroad tracks, build a new concrete wall, backfill and restore the street.

On Saturday, May 3rd, Hayward Baker, Concrete General Inc., the City, and WRA began work. The steel was delivered as well as a portion of the casing and drill tooling, and the drill rig was mobilized from PA and set up. On Sunday, May 4th, WRA worked on additional stabilization efforts and a briefing for the utility companies. A WRA civil engineer coordinated temporary bypass systems for the sanitary sewer and coordinated the gas and water replacements while developing permanent sanitary sewer replacement plans. WRA staff is providing onsite support 12 hours a day, 7 days a week so the repair can be completed as quickly as possible and residents can safely return to their homes.

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