City, CSX agree to split the cost to repair 26th St. road collapse

It’s a day that looks similar to April 30, 2014, heavy rain before the collapse of a retaining wall on 26th St.  One block crumbled onto the CSX train tracks below. 

Nels Schumacher lost his car.

"I didn't see it after a giant, pincer, armored backhoe crushed it," said Schumacher. 

His neighbors who live between St. Paul and Charles Streets were forced to move out for about three weeks and the cranes moved in.  The heavy rain on Tuesday brought the construction to a stop, but the fight for who pays for the $15 million repair is worked out.  It's an even split between the city and CSX.

"It's not sound judgment to suggest that we should enter into a long legal process when there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that CSX is 100 percent responsible.  If we had that information, we would be in a different place.  But we don't," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. 

Councilman Carl Stokes represents 26th St.  He understands keeping the fight out of court, but he says CSX has blurred the property line.

"When the community says we want to plant a tree there, they said no it's our property," said Councilman Stokes. 

Schumacher complained to the city about shoddy sidewalks for years until the collapse.

"The sidewalk was sinking.  There was cracks appearing in the pavement," said Schumacher. 

He says the city is paying to replace his car, but nothing can make up for the disruption he'll feel for months to come.

"We don't feel like we can open our windows because there's generators and a lot of diesel fumes out on the street, not to mention the noise," said Schumacher.  

The city has not given an exact timeline on when the work will be finished.  The mayor tells us the agreement will include a survey to establish a property line.

In a statement, CSX says “there is a foundation for an even stronger relationship between the city and CSX in the future.”

 

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