Ashmore drainage channel repair work to be complete at end of 2017

Published on Monday, 19 June 2017 19:22 - Written by FAITH HARPER,  

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For a year and a half, residents inside the Ashmore subdivision off Old Jacksonville Highway have been patient as city officials worked to repair a broken drainage channel.

The work is underway, but is expected to take until the end of the year to complete, the city’s project engineer Kyle Dykes said.

In late November 2015, heavy rains washed a retaining wall into a drainage channel in the Ashmore Estates subdivision, taking portions of three residents’ backyards with it and causing about 200 feet of damage along the backside of Evansburg Lane.

A contractor was brought on in February, and Dykes estimates the project is 30 percent complete.

The retaining wall likely fell in the channel because of the weight of saturated soil and landscaping leaning against the improperly designed wall.

The project qualifies for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will pay 75 percent of eligible costs.

Dykes said construction is estimated at $1.7 million, and FEMA funds will cover about 60 percent of the project. The remainder will be paid out of the city’s Half-Cent Sales Tax Fund.

The city has no record of who built the failed retaining wall.

Tyler owns the right-of-way to the drainage easement, which connects to businesses on the east side of Old Jacksonville under the roadway through the Ashmore subdivision and eventually through to the Hollytree subdivision.

According to the city, the channel was designed by the Brannon Corp., but those designs did not include a retaining wall on top of it. It wasn’t made for that kind of weight, according to the city. The affected homes sit on the south side of the channel and were built in the early 2000s.

Contractors will reconstruct the retaining wall, but all landscaping and irrigation will be left to the homeowners to repair.