Campbell Avenue is open and I know
that’s a good thing, especially for the residents and businesses along the
thoroughfare directly impacted by the closure. It does deserve a round of
high-fives (someone was looking for a congratulatory Talespin, so there it is.)
But, I am a bit confused on the
sequence of events.
In February, when the city closed
Campbell Avenue, City Engineer Russ Reeves said: “At this point we are
aggressively proceeding with engineering mediation. The repair scheme is to
restore the strength and integrity of the embankment.”
Earlier this week, the city opened
the road – after doing extensive work on the water and sewer lines – without
touching the embankment. The work for that has not even gone out to bid yet.
|Brunswick Road landslide|
When Reeves said the above
statement, it was the city’s belief soil samples showed conditions similar to
those that precipitated the Brunswick Road landslide in 2011 that leveled a
couple buildings, did irreparable damage to a few more and a couple more had to
be torn down, just in case the bank again decided to give up and again succumb
to gravity. I was working that day, and it was a “holy s&*#” type of scene.
So based on a bunch of engineering
data, the city closed Campbell Avenue to traffic in fear of the same thing
happening and a car or two ending up at the bottom of the embankment along with
a bunch of mud. That was four months ago. And now it’s open and the slope hasn’t
I asked the city why, if the slope
was so dangerous (slippery), the road is open without doing any repairs, and I was told
it’s because “water levels at the base of the slope have dropped substantially
and have gotten more stable as summer approached."
The reason Campbell Avenue was in
such dire shape, according to the city, is that Hurricane Irene – or Tropical
Storm Irene – soaked the ground past the saturation point. Just to put that in
perspective, Irene ripped through the Capital District near the end of August,
the Brunswick Road landslide happened on Aug. 31. Campbell Avenue was closed
about six months later.
Another thing to point out is that
since Irene is the culprit the city did apply to FEMA for aid in fixing the
slope and the city is expecting some $1.3 million to help correct the
devastating damage Irene did to Campbell Avenue.
To play the devil’s advocate,
here’s a possible scenario - the city prematurely closed Campbell’s Avenue with
dire warnings and much fanfare. Given the public outcry, it realized it couldn’t
open the road again without some kind of rational explanation or at least an explanation … And Irene was handy, if
not a stretch.
Anyway, the road is open. And that is a good thing even though there are many who think it should never have been closed because the slope really wasn't all that slippery to begin with.
Labels: brunswick road, campbell avenue, Reeves