ST. LOUIS – Thirteen months after Fox 2 aired the dramatic Bommarito Automotive Group Skyfox video of the massive retaining wall in Arnold that collapsed from 50 feet above. Now, Fox 2 can show the completed repair.
It’s a much different view now from the street in Arnold where it happened. Someone driving by today might not ever know what happened in 2020 if it hadn’t been such a dramatic collapse that required evacuations.
“Still when I hear noises I go out and look at the wall, ha. It’s like the natural thing to do,” nearby resident Jane Konsewicz said.
She and Connie Garrett live at the base of the wall that blew out above them last year. The contrast is dramatic when you compare the gaping hole from July 2020 and the obvious repair.
“Oh, it is a constant reminder of what happened here because you can see it. It’s also a constant reminder because people stop and ask you about it,” Garrett said.
It took residents about nine months before they heard from the developer and contractor about how it would be fixed. This end result is not a rebuild, rather it’s a repair and patch.
A contractor, with a resume of responding to landslide and rockfall repairs, did it. They marked the plans proprietary. Those plans have never been publicly released.
However, Konsewicz explained what they told her the repair entailed.
“They did landscaping nails, hooked into the geogrid that was there and sprayed about eight inches of concrete over that and I believe there’s drainage underneath it,” she said.
Garrett added, “I just think it’s the fear of the unknown because I don’t think it’s ever been done to a wall this high.”
Arnold City Administrator Bryan Richison said the city inspectors have checked it out.
“Our chief building inspector did come down and inspect it. He believes everything looks good, gave verbal approval, allowed the drive-through up top to reopen for business and for cars,” he said.
He says the city is waiting on landscaping before it gives a final certificate of completion.
“It was certainly an ordeal, certainly something we didn’t want to have to deal with, but we did bring in outside engineer to help us evaluate the repair work so everyone involved believes this will be a permanent fix – something that should not reoccur,” Richison said.
Homeowners below hope it holds, but say it’s hard to remain optimistic with what they say has been more than a year of little communication – and not one person saying, “I’m sorry.”
“Nothing,” Konsewicz said adding, “I kind of joke and say we didn’t even get a fruit basket you know ha, ha.”