Jefferson City crews Monday began taking down a retaining wall on Monroe Street that had been showing signs of instability.
Crews from Sam Gains Construction started removing the wall on the west side of Monroe from Dunklin Street and the U.S. 50/63 Expressway. The Gains crews have been doing repairs and upgrades along High Street and the work on the wall will be added to what the city was paying the company for the High Street work.
City Civil Engineer Tia Griffin said the wall was leaning about 21/2 feet over the sidewalk. City Operations Division Director Britt Smith said they didn't know what was causing the wall to lean out that far.
"Over the last six months, we've been seeing more movement, and we felt we were to a point that we needed to take this action," Smith said.
The wall at its highest point was 19 feet above the street. Smith said they were going to take it down to 6 feet tall.
"As you're going south on Monroe, once you cross over from the expressway, the wall starts low and goes up," he said. "That low part is 6 feet, and we'll cut it down and keep it at that level. That part didn't appear to be in any danger of falling."
There should be about 100 feet of wall left, Griffin said. She said the wall work will continue through Tuesday and then the cleanup of the area will go on through the rest of the week.
"Behind the wall is rock bluff and we will make sure the rock is stable and if there is anything loose that will be pulled down as well," she said.
Griffin noted that because of the work on the wall, a public alley way, East Cedar Way, is closed between Dunklin and the top of the hill next to the wall. She said Cedar Way can still be accessed if residents go back down to Madison Street by River City Florist and Central Dairy, where it comes out. A determination will be made in the near future whether this section of the way will be reopened to traffic.
City staff plan to stabilize the area until the city can afford to reconstruct the Monroe Street corridor, which could cost approximately $3 million with the design process costing an estimated $300,000, Public Works Director Matt Morasch said during last week's Jefferson City Public Works and Planning Committee meeting.
The committee discussed last December improving Monroe Street between U.S. 50 and Woodlawn Avenue as part of the Historic Southside/Old Munichburg District and Neighborhood Plan, proposed by Capital Region Medical Center and adopted by the city last July.
Improvements include widening the street to allow two-way traffic, repairing the retaining wall and old stormwater infrastructure and replacing the traffic signal at the intersection of Monroe and Dunklin streets.