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County investigating failure of Dyer retaining wall

CROWN POINT ­— The Lake County Surveyor’s Office is trying to determine what caused one of the new retaining walls along Hart Street Ditch near 213th Street in Dyer to fail.

Surveyor George Van Til and his staff updated the Drainage Board last week on the status of the investigation and what will happen next as it moves forward.

Dan Gossman, senior drainage administrator, said staff met with the department’s engineer met with a representative from K&S Construction Group of Merrillville, the contractor on the job, to discuss what happened and how to proceed with repairs.

So far the channel has been opened and the sediment that fell into the creek when the wall collapsed was removed.

Thomas Burke, the department’s engineer for the North Water Shed, said the wall collapsed in April right before work on it was completed when a storm dumped 1 to 1.5 inches of rain on the region. The ground cover did not have a chance to grow prior to the rain. Burke said he did not know if that played a role in the collapse.

“This contractor built three of these walls. This is the only one we have had problems with,” Burke said.

Van Til said the department is working to find out why the wall failed and who bears the responsibility but the investigation is moving slowly. So far soil boring on the wall has been completed to determine if the problem was with the material used to construct it. The samples have just been returned and the results are not yet available.

“There is some question about what kind of fill was used,” Van Til said.

Until the results of the soil boring tests are analyzed, he said he could not say for certain if that may be why the wall failed.

“I don’t have an absolute answer yet on this,” Van Til said.



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