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    Category: Retaining Wall


    Construction projects wrap up at LEUSD schools; renovation, repair project planned for David A. Brown MS – Valley News - February 22, 2020 by admin

    Construction projects at several Lake Elsinore Unified School District campuses have been finished, according to notices of completion filed with and approved by the school board at its Feb. 13 meeting.

    The projects include installation of two greenhouse systems at Elsinore High School, repairs to a pedestrian bridge at Elsinore Middle School, renovations of an administrative building at Terra Cotta Middle School and the installation of a modular concession stand building at Temescal Canyon High School.

    The district is also planning to put a retaining wall repair and basketball court renovation project out to bid at David A. Brown Middle School in the near future, and approved a $19,500 contract with a consultant to provide structural and civil engineering design services.

    The items were all approved as part of the boards consent agenda, which means they were voted on without discussion.

    Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.

    Continue reading here:
    Construction projects wrap up at LEUSD schools; renovation, repair project planned for David A. Brown MS - Valley News

    Northland residents question construction project that has road closed for months – KSHB - February 22, 2020 by admin

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. Residents living along Northwest 72nd Street, just east of Interstate 29, are sick of delays and detours. A portion of the road has been closed for a Kansas City improvement project since May 2018.

    Jack Williams, a Lake Waukomis alderman, said residents do not see any work being done at the site.

    "When we come out of our entrance and have to go east, we can look down the road and see that there's nothing going on," Williams said. "This they could have done in a fraction of a time that this has been going on."

    Ray Gassman also lives in Lake Waukomis. He told 41 Action News he hasn't seen any work happening on the road for weeks.

    "I wish you could see some progress going when the weather is nice, that would be a big help," he said.

    A spokesperson for Kansas City Public Works told 41 Acton News while the project has hit a slight delay, it is still on track to be completed this fall.

    The spokesperson pointed 41 Action News to the city's latest construction update, which said, "temperature swings are still too low for the contractor to confidently proceed with subgrade stabilization, grading work or asphalt. The frozen ground limits the ability of ensuring good earth compaction and ultimately, a roadway that will have good longevity. Currently, the contractor is preparing to begin work on the retaining walls. They determined retaining wall work can proceed, as it is not as dependent on weather. The contractor is still actively maintaining the job site, ensuring access for local residents and monitoring storm water control measures."

    Williams and Gassman said they are doubtful about the fall completion date.

    "I'd bet against that," Gassman said.

    See the original post here:
    Northland residents question construction project that has road closed for months - KSHB

    ‘We Couldn’t See Anything’: Deadly 200-Vehicle Pileup Near Montreal, Canada, Preceded by Whiteout – The Weather Channel - February 22, 2020 by admin

    Witnesses at the front of a huge pileup near Montreal that killed two people on Wednesday describe a terrifying scene with vehicles slamming into each other as blowing snow made it impossible to see.

    "There was just pure white snow like a whiteout getting blown onto the roads. We couldn't see anything," Spencer Jacob told CTV News.

    Jacob and four friends had been visiting Montreal and were driving home to upstate New York when the whiteout began. They pulled over but another vehicle clipped their car. The men called police and soon after an ambulance arrived.

    "Another car came down and just flew into the back of the ambulance. That blocked up two lanes and then another 18-wheeler came and just slammed into that car," Jacob said. "That's when we were like 'this is bad,' and we need to get out of the car. Our doors were pressed against the snow so we had to get out of the windows and run up onto the snowbank and we were just watching."

    (MORE: Here's Why Snow Squalls Are Dangerous)

    By the time everyone got stopped, the pileup had ensnared nearly 200 vehicles on Highway 15 in La Prairie, Quebec, Canada. Hours after the pileup, which happened about 12:30 p.m. local time, Quebec police confirmed the two deaths, according to the Montreal Gazette.

    Reports of the number of injured people varied, with the Gazette saying at least 40 people were hurt and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporting at least 60 with 20 of those being seriously injured.

    Emergency personnel gather at the scene following a multi-vehicle crash on the south shore of Montreal in La Prairie, Quebec, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.

    The two who died were in the same vehicle, police said. Emergency personnel worked until 6 p.m. to free the bodies from the wreckage.

    "We know that these people were involved in a collision with a tank truck, which made the rescue operation more difficult for first responders," said Stphane Tremblay, spokesperson for the Sret du Qubec.

    Firefighters had to extricate victims from at least nine vehicles. Shuttle buses took about 150 people to a nearby community center. There, health officials continued to evaluate them and sent some to the hospital.

    "As I was driving along going about (55 to 60 mph), all I saw was red lights, brake lights, cars just hitting each other, trying to swerve out of the way," a driver who identified himself as Kyle told CTV News. "I tried to do the same myself, and I got hit by another bus, smacked into the retaining wall."

    Emergency personnel gather at the scene after a multi-vehicle crash on the south shore of Montreal in La Prairie, Quebec, Wednesday, February 19, 2020.

    The incident closed a six-mile stretch of Highway 15 in both directions. The northbound lanes were reopened as of midnight Wednesday, but the southbound lanes remain closed, CTV News reported.

    The part of the highway where the pileup happened is vulnerable to southwesterly winds coming off the St. Lawrence River, CTV News reported. Wind can toss snow into the air on the exposed patch of road, obscuring visibility. A chain-link fence runs along the highway to help block the blowing snow.

    Quebec's Transport Minister Franois Bonnardel confirmed there were whiteout conditions at the time of the crash, as snow and high winds reduced visibility to zero.

    Snow-clearing vehicles had passed through the area twice in the hour before the collisions took place, Bonnardel said at an afternoon news conference.

    The conditions were nice, but the high winds caused the zero-visibility situation, he said.

    Jacob, the American tourist, and his friends tried to warn approaching vehicles of the crash.

    "They couldn't see," he said.

    "I turned my back to it," Jacob said. "I just couldn't watch it or hear it any more because it's just so horrific that people don't know where they're going and they just crash into a car."

    About 50 of the 200 vehicles involved were able to drive away on their own, a police spokesperson told CTV News. Another 75 have to be towed, the spokesperson added. A dozen large trucks and a school bus, whose passengers were uninjured, were also among the vehicles involved.

    The Weather Companys primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

    See the rest here:
    'We Couldn't See Anything': Deadly 200-Vehicle Pileup Near Montreal, Canada, Preceded by Whiteout - The Weather Channel

    Why Ryan Newman CrashedAnd Why He Survived – The Federalist - February 22, 2020 by admin

    On Wednesday, a feat some viewed as miraculous happened: NASCAR driver Ryan Newman walked out of Halifax Medical Center less than 48 hours after a dramatic crash in the season-opening Daytona 500:

    On Monday evening, on the last lap of a rain-delayed race that originally began on Sunday, Newmans car got turned by Ryan Blaney, whereupon it flipped over and was struck head-on by Corey Lajoie. The contact with Lajoie launched Newmans car into the air, where it contacted the outside retaining wall and slid on its roof before coming (mercifully) to a stop upside-down.

    NASCAR fans have seen many similar wrecks like these over the years, particularly on the sports two largest tracks: The Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. At these two superspeedways, NASCAR uses restrictions on enginesup until last year, restrictor plates on engine carburetorsand other aerodynamic rules that bunch cars up in large packs.

    Ironically, NASCAR began using restrictor plates following a 1987 crash by driver Bobby Allison, who upon blowing a tire slammed into the metal catch-fencing at more than 200 miles per hourand right in front of thousands of spectators. NASCAR, fearing that ever-climbing speeds at Talladega and Daytona meant drivers would lose control of their vehicles, demanded changes to slow the race pace.

    But in slowing the cars, NASCAR also created the modern era of pack racing, where virtually the entire field of 40 cars race within a second or two of each other. These bunched-up fields all but guarantee that races at Daytona and Talladega will feature a Big Onea wreck where one spinning car collects dozens of others, turning the speedway into a de facto demolition derby. (In Mondays race, contact between Aric Almirola and Brad Keselowski sparked a huge wreck with 17 laps remaining in the race; announcer Mike Joy responded, Well, there goes half the field.)

    The close-pack racing makes big wrecks a fact of life in NASCAR, particularly at superspeedways. No one blamed Ryan Blaney for the contact that flipped Newmans car, nor Lajoie for launching him airborne. Blaney was racing hard for the win on the last lap of NASCARs biggest race, and Lajoie had no time to react before hitting Newman. The incident was, as drivers are wont to claim, Just one of them racin deals.

    Paradoxically, because big wrecks have become a part of superspeedway racing for more than three decades, drivers have a greater likelihood of surviving them. NASCAR has gone to great lengths to try and improve safety, often in the wake of prior incidents.

    Rusty Wallaces crash at Talladega in 1993 (from which he walked away) led the series to develop roof flaps, designed to deploy to keep cars from getting airborne when spinning. They have worked in many cases, but didnt help much during Newmans crash, because Lajoies vehicle punted Newmans car into the air.

    Following Dale Earnhardts tragic death on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, NASCAR developed the head-and-neck support (HANS) device, designed to prevent basilar skull fractures. Prior to the HANS device, drivers seat belts would keep their bodies in their seats, but momentum would keep the head moving forward, causing the kind of brain trauma that killed Earnhardt (and others).

    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway developed a Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barrier in 2002, designed to absorb and dissipate much of the impact from collisions, so that drivers do not plow directly into concrete walls. Its widespread adoption across NASCAR and other series does not make racing completely safe, but increases the likelihood of surviving incidents.

    While NASCAR has not seen a fatality in its three national touring series since Earnhardts death in 2001, it does not mean racing does not have costs. Most notably, Earnhardts son and namesake retired to a role as a broadcaster after the 2017 season, in large part due to repeated concussions, and fear about the consequences should he suffer additional brain trauma. In 2016, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pledged upon his death to donate his brain for concussion research.

    For NASCAR, the Newman incident again raised the question of whether superspeedway racing at Daytona and Talladegaat which the likelihood of multi-car pileups approaches 100 percentrepresents an acceptable risk to drivers and teams. Ironically enough, while the Daytona 500 represents the sports biggest race, the Daytona International Speedway also serves as NASCARs deadliest track, with eight of the 28 fatalities from the sports premier series coming on Daytonas high banks.

    NASCAR fans either love or hate superspeedway racing. Some love the drama, excitement, and close finishes, while others become jaded by the wreck-fests that inevitably result. And while some fans will cite Newmans horrific incident as a wake-up call to re-evaluate superspeedway racing entirely, the fact that Dale Earnhardt, Sr.s death failed to prompt such a re-evaluation suggests the Daytona and Talladega races will continue.

    At minimum, however, the fact that Newman could survive his Daytona wreck shows the strides that NASCAR continues to make regarding driver safety, in a sport that all drivers admit brings inherent risk.

    Read more:
    Why Ryan Newman CrashedAnd Why He Survived - The Federalist

    Ridgefield parking lot expansion approved – The Ridgefield Press - February 22, 2020 by admin

    There is parking, for those that can find an open space, along Main Street in Ridgefield, Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

    There is parking, for those that can find an open space, along Main Street in Ridgefield, Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

    Photo: Carol Kaliff / Hearst Connecticut Media

    There is parking, for those that can find an open space, along Main Street in Ridgefield, Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

    There is parking, for those that can find an open space, along Main Street in Ridgefield, Wednesday, February 17, 2016.

    Ridgefield parking lot expansion approved

    More village parking!

    Reduced from 56 spaces down to 38 but he towns long-planned parking lot expansion is all approved. The plans now head into an estimate-and-bidding process that First Selectman Rudy Marconi hopes will have the project ready for bulldozers and workers in hard hats by the coming of the warm weather construction season.

    I would say in a couple of months wed start, 30 to 60 days, Marconi said.

    Of course, we want it done as soon as possible 38 spots are 38 spots we dont have now.

    The 38 new parking spaces now planned to be added at the north end of the Governor Street parking lot are fewer than the 50 or 60 town officials had envisioned when they got voters to approve $570,000 for the project back in the 2018-19 budget referendum.

    Its been reduced through several conceptual plans, Town Facilities Director Jake Muller told the Planning and Zoning Commission. Were now down to 38 total spaces 36 in the expansion, and were looking to pick up two in the existing parking lot.

    Still, the commission approved the plans on a 7-to-2 vote Tuesday night, Feb. 11, after a public hearing at which one neighbor spoke, raising concerns that ranged from flooding to the impact on village wildlife.

    We have hawks, we have foxes, we have rabbits, all sorts of unusual birds, said Gina Carey of 107 East Ridge.

    Removing that last half-acre of woodlands in the downtown area, Im concerned what its going to do.

    She also worried that converting woodlands to blacktop would aggravate stormwater problems that already trouble the neighborhood.

    When it rains, Im telling you, it all floods, Carey said.

    The design engineer on the project, Steve Sullivan of CCA engineering, said the new lot shouldnt add to the drainage difficulties.

    We provided a detention system that significantly reduces peak flows off this site, Sullivan said.

    Before going to the Planning and Zoning Commission, the plans were approved by the new independent Inland Wetlands Board.

    The board was principally concerned with the loss of the wooded buffer adjacent to the stream, wetlands board Chairwoman Patricia Sesto said later. In accordance with the state statutes, we pressed the applicant to demonstrate the alternative they preferred was the most feasible and prudent with the least impact to the stream.

    The applicant did a good job of justifying the need for additional parking, the alternative locations explored, and then they made adjustments to the initial proposal in response to the boards directive to minimize impacts to the wooded buffer.

    Marconi wants to add a step to the towns usual bidding process, seeking a professional estimators opinion.

    Weve sent it out to get a professional estimate on the cost and see where were at and that would relate to a cost per spot, and whether its worth the investment, because there will be more blasting, Marconi said.

    We want to be sure we have a good number, before we move forward, so thats why were hiring an outside professional estimating firm to take a look at this.

    Then I can tell the board this is what the approximate cost is going to be, and were moving forward so everyone is aware what were spending for these 38 spots, he said.

    The permit procedure was longer, and more costly, than initially anticipated.

    We had to spend extra money to do all of the permit process, and I want to be sure the money we have left covers the cost of installing 38 parking spaces and getting the job done, Marconi said.

    Marconi was fairly confident the cost estimate would be acceptable, and the town could just move forward with the parking lot.

    Its obviously a smaller project its not 50 to 60 spots, its 38. And the area being impacted is being reduced significantly, so were hoping well be absolutely fine. But I want to be sure, he said.

    What would happen if the estimate or the bids that followed came in high and exceeded the money available?

    That would be up to the Board of Selectmen, Marconi said.

    Were going to take it one step at a time.

    The new parking lot will be a northward expansion of the existing lot parking lot off Governor Street, between the RVNA and the Boys and Girls Club. It will take up land behind the Casey Fuel building.

    This is a one-way, loop parking lot, with angled parking, Steve Sullivan, the design engineer, told the Planning and Zoning Commission hearing.

    Sullivan said the plan would involve a four-foot retaining wall.

    The plans also show 25 sizable trees, many of them trees that are already there.

    We were able to save a lot of trees, Sullivan said.

    An effort was made to minimize bulldozing and earth-moving work.

    It is less than an acre of total disturbance on the site, Sullivan said.

    He said he expects the disturbed area will be just over eight tenths of an acre, he said.

    Facilities Director Jake Muller said the town was also seeking approval to use a rock crushing machine on the site, which would allow rocks excavated to be reused and would reduce the number of trucks coming and going during construction.

    Lighting fixtures would be a maximum of 14 feet high, and would be similar to those the town used on the outdoor lighting put in at the Schlumberger property. The plan also calls for replacing the lighting fixtures in the existing roughly 60-car lot, so they all match.

    Planning and Zoning Director Richard Baldelli said the commissions staff supported the project, since the shortage of parking had for years been a source of concern among Central Business District merchants and landlords.

    The staff is in favor, Baldelli said, referring to the positive impact this would have in the CBD zone, in terms of parking.

    Baldellis written staff report says:

    The Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD), supported by the 2009 Ridgefield Center Study by Milone & MacBroom, offers recommendations for downtown Ridgefield which include reconfiguring and expanding parking and upgrading municipal parking lots with lighting.

    In the POCD public survey, Baldellis report adds, 61% of residents felt that the town should find ways to add more parking downtown for employees and visitors.

    The 2009 Ridgefield Center Study had put the number of parking spaces in the village at just over 1,500. Parking has increased some but not substantially since then.

    Planning and Zoning Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti said that while the official reduction in the number of spaces during the many changes to the plan was 18 from 56 to 38 the original hope was for something like 66 spaces.

    This is, I believe, the seventh revision since we started back in 2018, Muller said.

    Mucchetti also told commissioners that since the project had previously been approved by the new independent Inland Wetlands Board, any changes the commission required to the design of the lot would mean the town would have to take the plans back for another wetlands approval.

    The commission obliged by approving the plans without changes.

    Its a hell of a lot better than the plan that first came to us, said Commissioner John Katz.

    The review process took longer and cost more, and the town ended up with fewer new parking spaces than were initially envisioned.

    A lot of work, Marconi said. Originally, the hope was maybe to get 60-plus, 65, but when the plans came out it was at 56. Right now, after the Inland Wetlands Board review were down to 38.

    But the first selectman wasnt complaining.

    The Inland Wetlands Board, it was the first permit to be presented and they did a good job, Marconi said. They did the job we elected them to do, and well move forward.

    Did it take longer? Probably. But there was not an immediacy to the project.

    Should we have had more parking spaces years ago? Thats been a debate, Marconi said. But we do have 38 coming on, and thats the important thing. And all the boards and commissions did a good job.

    Go here to see the original:
    Ridgefield parking lot expansion approved - The Ridgefield Press

    Final Phase of Construction on Spruce Railroad Trail to Begin in Early… – Forks Forum - February 22, 2020 by admin

    The final phase of work on the Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent is set to begin in early March and be completed by November 2020.

    During this phase, the entire four-mile trail along Lake Crescent will be closed to all use for public safety due to the heavy equipment and truck traffic involved in construction.

    Upcoming work will include restoring the Daley Rankin Tunnel, rockfall mitigation, retaining wall construction, and finishing the remaining trail improvements. Paving the length of the trail and the Lyre River Trailhead parking area will complete the multi-year collaborative project.

    During construction, East Beach Road will be closed to the public at the intersection with Joyce-Piedmont Road. Camp David Jr. Road will be closed to the public beyond the North Shore Picnic Area. Devils Punchbowl will only be accessible by boat until this final phase is complete. The westbound portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail and Pyramid Peak Trail will remain accessible from the North Shore Picnic Area on Camp David Jr. Road.

    We understand visitors will miss getting out on the trail while it is under construction and we look forward to its reopening and the creation of nearly ten miles of universally accessible trail, said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. This would not have been possible without the continued collaboration with Clallam County and the Federal Highway Administration.

    The $5 million contract for this final phase was recently awarded to Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles. Clallam County and Olympic National Park are jointly funding the project. The park obtained close to $1 million for this contract through the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 which provides cost-sharing funds to the National Park Service (NPS) to improve infrastructure. Clallam County is funding the remainder of the contract. Federal Highway Administration staff provide construction management and general contract oversight.

    The Spruce Railroad Trail improvements are part of a multi-year collaborative project to establish the entire 10-mile length of the trail as a 12-wide universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and people traveling in wheelchairs. Restoration of the 450-foot long McFee Tunnel was completed in summer 2017. Previous contracts also included bank stabilization, culvert installation, and demolition and removal of a park-owned structure to allow for construction of a new 33-car parking lot at the Lyre River Trailhead with additional parking for oversized vehicles and a horse trailer turn-around.

    The Spruce Railroad Trail follows the historic railroad grade of the Spruce Railroad, built in 1918 and abandoned in 1951. When the project is completed in fall 2020 it will become a signature piece of the 134-mile long Olympic Discovery Trail that will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.

    For current trail, road and travel information, visitors should consult the park website at http://www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.

    More:
    Final Phase of Construction on Spruce Railroad Trail to Begin in Early... - Forks Forum

    Darts ace Gerwin Price wins legal battle with neighbour who claims his boozy pals peed over her wall – The Sun - February 22, 2020 by admin

    DARTS ace Gerwyn Price has won a battle with a neighbour who claims his boozy pals peed over her wall.

    Mary Smith, 89, complained to the council about a practice room the world No3 is having built in his back garden.

    1

    Her son Jeffrey, 59, says she has been crying weekly over rowdy behaviour and 5,000 damage to a retaining wall.

    He added: Its not a practice room, its a man cave where he goes with mates to get drunk and celebrate winning."

    Theyre there until the early hours. My mother doesnt sleep well and one night shes looked out and theres these two mates peeing over her wall."

    "Shes a church-going woman and does not want to see that.

    He added: When they started this structure, I told him to stop and he just ploughed on. The retaining wall is now going in different directions.

    Price, 34, known as The Iceman, bought the 84,000 semi in Blackwood, South Wales, in 2018.

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    He dismissed the Smiths claims as garbage.

    He told the council: I said Id replace the wall. As for the issues about noise it is not true. I use this for my livelihood as a practice room.

    Caerphilly Council said he could finish the building and put up a 1.8 metre fence.

    Read the rest here:
    Darts ace Gerwin Price wins legal battle with neighbour who claims his boozy pals peed over her wall - The Sun

    West Van withholds building permit; accuses owner of asking forgiveness instead of permission – North Shore News - February 22, 2020 by admin

    A homeowners bid to overturn a year-long stop-work order hit a wall Feb. 10 as West Vancouver councillors noted the difference between what was allowed on a waterfront property and what got built.

    The district approved a two-storey house on a rectangular site at 3742 Marine Dr. in 2016, as well as subsequent variances.

    But during a site inspection, district staff noted an extension to the building and roof, a wing-wall and retaining walls that hadnt been approved.

    The owner is asking for four new variances.

    If we do approve this, were just asking for other people to sin and beg forgiveness later, said Coun. Craig Cameron.

    Requested changes include shrinking the side yard setbacks by a total of nine metres and increasing site coverage from 42 to 58 per cent.

    We thought the changes we made to the exterior of the house were minor and did not require staff approval, Pinnacle International senior project manager Carlo Meola wrote in a letter to council. I am asking that you excuse my lack of judgment in not asking staff before I made the changes that I am now proposing.

    Stuck between waterfront bedrock and Marine Drive, the property is 55 metres wide and 8.5 metres deep at its narrowest point.

    Explaining the lot was likely created prior to the construction of Marine Drive, West Vancouver director of planning Jim Bailey told council that if the owner had asked for those exceptions in advance they would have got what they asked for.

    If youre looking for a pound of flesh I think the fact that theyve been inactive ... theres a measure of punishment in that, he said.

    Cameron, however, was concerned that granting the variances would encourage other homeowners to push the envelope.

    We need to be flexible, but this is playing us for fools, he said.

    While questioning Meola as well as landscape architect Peter Kreuk, Coun. Nora Gambioli asked why a patio was built without permits, seemingly intentionally.

    The concrete patio was an existing slab, thats where the existing garage used to sit, Meola told her.

    Cameron took issue with that explanation.

    This wasnt an existing slab. This is a brand new slab, Cameron said.

    The walls were existing, Meola replied. The slab was existing but it collapsed.

    Cameron seemed unimpressed with that reasoning.

    At some point in the construction there was an audible that was called and you decided, Screw it, lets just pour this, he said.

    That is a newly poured slab, Kreuk clarified. The idea was to position the slab beneath terraced landscaping on the steeply sloping property, Kreuk told council.

    Encouraging her colleagues to support the variances, Mayor Mary-Ann Booth suggested one year spent in development purgatory is quite a penalty.

    The year-long stop-work order isnt necessarily the districts fault, Bailey said.

    While he didnt realize it had been a year, Bailey noted that variance permits often involve back-and-forth between the applicant and the municipality.

    Even so, denying the permit will waste councils, staffs, and the neighbourhoods time, according to Booth.

    Personally, I dont want to see a bunch of concrete being jackhammered and put in a landfill, the mayor said.

    Jackhammering would be entirely appropriate, Coun. Bill Soprovich countered.

    They can jackhammer out the concrete and put in a slope-down landscape. That would satisfy me, Soprovich said. I cant understand why you have professional men going against the bylaw.

    Coun. Peter Lambur noted that the homeowner has already paid permit fees for each variance.

    I think this is just adding more unnecessary work on top of unnecessary work, Lambur said.

    Lambur also suggested deterrence may not be required.

    I think the applicant knows what they have done, Lambur said.

    The variances probably should have been included in the first application, said Coun. Sharon Thompson.

    While the owner is guilty of a misstep, Thompson suggested council approve the application.

    We want you to be able to enjoy your home, she said.

    Council voted 4-3 to defer approving the variance permit while staff explore deterrents. Cameron, Soprovich, Gambioli, and Coun. Marcus Wong supported the motion while Booth, Thompson and Lambur opposed it.

    Read the original post:
    West Van withholds building permit; accuses owner of asking forgiveness instead of permission - North Shore News

    Man rescued from the ruins of a collapsed retaining… – Auburn Reporter - February 13, 2020 by admin

    The Valley Regional Fire Authority Technical Rescue Team along with help from technical rescue specialists from South King Fire and Puget Sound Fire freed a man from the rubble of a collapsed retaining wall, the VRFA tweeted Monday.

    Crews responded at 10:33 a.m. to a call of a 40-year-old man who was trapped when a portion of a retaining wall reportedly collapsed.

    The man was buried to his waist but conscious and talking when first-responders arrived. Crews shored up the dirt and rock, using cribbing materials, and an excavation operator on site removed a 1,400-pound block that was impeding the rescue.

    Following the removal of the block, the patient was placed on a backboard and gently slid out of the trench, the VRFA posted.

    King County Medic One Paramedics treated the patient, warmed him to stave off hypothermia and transported him in stable condition to Harborview Medical Center.

    Read the rest here:
    Man rescued from the ruins of a collapsed retaining... - Auburn Reporter

    Federal Officials Fear Devastating Floods Along the Columbia River. Residents Fear a Wall Through Their Neighborhood. – Willamette Week - February 13, 2020 by admin

    On top of the levee in Bridgeton, the smell of river mud is strong. Canada geese honk over the thrum of traffic on the Interstate 5 Bridge a half-mile downstream.

    Life is peaceful in Portland's least populous neighborhoodit has fewer than 1,000 residentsbut that's all about to change.

    Tom Hickey is chairman of the Bridgeton Neighborhood Association and, like many of his neighbors, a resident of a floating home. He's fighting what could become the local equivalent of the Berlin Wall.

    What worries Hickey: a $158 million federal plan to strengthen 27 miles of levees that keep Portland from being inundated by the Columbia River.

    Part of the plan would put a 3-foot retaining wall down the middle of Bridgeton's main street. That street is built directly on top of the levee, a 30-foot earthen berm. Portions of the street and parking spaces to the north are considered unstable and would be walled off under the plan to buttress the levees.

    "It's a death knell to the culture of the people who live in the community," Hickey says. "We're looking at a loss of access to the water and a major loss of property value."

    Countless words have been penned about the potentially catastrophic effects of a Cascadian subduction zone earthquake on Portland. Far less attention has been devoted to the threat of Columbia River floodswhich happen far more frequently and are a danger accelerated by a warming planet.

    Last month, the federal government released its latest plan to deal with that threat. It's a project that would change the face of this city. Yet Portlanders remain deeply divided over what that project should look like.

    "Sure, there are a lot of questions," says Corky Collier, executive director of the Columbia Corridor Association, which represents hundreds of businesses protected by the levees. "But can we afford not to do it?"

    Torrential flooding in Pendleton and surrounding areas this week took one life and changed others irreparably. It's a reminder of the destructive power of rising water.

    Portland has its own memories of that force. Vanport, just southwest of Bridgeton, was completely wiped out in 1948, when the Columbia spilled over the levee Bridgeton is built on, causing 15 deaths and the displacement of 18,000 people.

    That was one of Portland's five "100-year floods" in the past 125 years. After the catastrophic flooding from Hurricanes Katrina in 2005 and Sandy in 2012, the feds investigated other key levee systems around the country. Few systems are more economically important.

    Portland's levees, which stretch from the BNSF railroad bridge across the Columbia to the mouth of the Sandy River, date from 1917. They protect an enormous range of assets, including the homes of 7,500 people, the region's largest concentration of industrial and warehouse jobs, sections of three interstate highways, and Portland International Airport.

    In January, after three years of investigation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains federally regulated levees, produced a range of five options for Portland's levees, from doing nothing to spending $158 million to shore up earthen walls, raise the height of existing barriers, and replace decrepit pumps to bring the entire system into compliance with Federal Emergency Management Agency standards.

    The benefits would be twofold: protecting assets from what even the Corps of Engineers says is likely to be more frequent and destructive flooding because of climate change, and allowing property owners protected by the levees to continue to qualify for federally subsidized flood insurance.

    Collier is excited about the plan.

    "The way it's set up, the feds pay two-thirdsthat's a great deal," he says. Collier acknowledges the plan would require local cleanup of polluted lands before the Corps does its part. But he says that's long overdue.

    "The CCA's been working on brownfield cleanup for 15 years and it's really frustrating," Collier says. "Let's get on with it."

    Bob Sallinger, conservation director of the Audubon Society of Portland, takes a different view. Sallinger says the Corps' plan, which he calls "a train wreck," would result in the loss of trees and other habitat and doesn't give sufficient consideration to natural solutions like returning large swaths of floodplain to wetlands.

    "This looks like a document written 25 years ago," Sallinger says. "They just want to build larger, taller walls without regard to the health of the environment."

    Valerie Ringold, chief planner for the Corps, insists that's not the case. She says the Corps evaluated letting a major portion of the land protected by the levees return to natural floodplain and determined it wouldn't lessen flood risks. The Corps, she adds, would replace any vegetation it destroys and mitigate any damage to wetlands.

    Michael Jordan, director of the city of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services, has monitored the Corps' investigation closely. He says the city wants to ensure the levee fix accomplishes as many goals as possiblesafety, environmental and recreationaland adds he's confident that can happen.

    "The risks people have identified are manageable," Jordan says. "There are greater risks of not doing the project."

    Hickey is hopeful as well. He met with Corps project manager Laura Hicks last week to discuss a retaining wall design that has been used elsewhere: one with removable sections that could be stored until water approaching Portland rises, then snapped into place.

    His suggestion will be among many public comments the Corps receives in a process that is open through Feb. 14.

    "Climate change is real and we agree the levees need to be improved," Hickey says. "The battle is whether they suffocate our neighborhood, or enhance it.

    Follow this link:
    Federal Officials Fear Devastating Floods Along the Columbia River. Residents Fear a Wall Through Their Neighborhood. - Willamette Week

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