Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rivermist homeowners

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a note to the homeowners at The Hills of Rivermist in San Antonio, Texas, where a 1,000 ft. long, 30 FT. HIGH, retaining wall collapsed in January:

Pulte/Centex and the City of San Antonio are working out a "fix" to the collapsed retaining wall. This is CLASSIC. The builder and the City work up a solution for the homeowners; BUT, THEY DON'T INVOLVE YOU, THE HOMEOWNERS, IN THE PROCESS.

DEMAND TO BE A PART OF THE PROCESS.

The replacement wall will not look like the collapsed wall. IT COULD BE UGLY.

Besides the fact that your property values have already been lowered by the stigma of a collapsed retaining wall, an UGLY replacement wall will further lower your property values.

SPEAK UP AND SPEAK OUT.

DEMAND THAT THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO AND PULTE/CENTEX INCLUDE YOU IN THE SOLUTION.
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2 comments:

Wayne Caswell, Communications Director said...

Ray, I'd like your response to this...

Even without seeing the engineering drawings, HOT worries about the affects of expansive soil on the new retaining wall design that Centex proposed. If our analysis of USDA Web Soil Survey data (http://homeownersoftexas.org/Rivermist_Soil_Survey.pdf) is correct, our water balloon theory (http://homeownersoftexas.org/Rivermist_Water_Balloon_Theory.pdf) should cause people to question the structural integrity of the new design.

PE, retired said...

Wayne,

"...without seeing the engineering drawings...", the engineering calculations, and possibly talking to the geotechnical engineer and the structural design engineer, I'm not in a position to evaluate "...the structural integrity of the new design."

However, your concern ("...expansive soil...") is a valid one.

With ALL of the attention being placed on Hills of Rivermist, and with having failed to get a building permit, and engineered drawings, when the original wall was built, I would hope that Pulte/Centex and the City of San Antonio building department would have "learned their lesson".

Site soils and geology should be FULLY tested and analyzed by a competent licensed geotechnical engineer. The replacement wall should be designed by a competent licensed structural engineer. The replacemnt wall should be properly constructed according to the sealed construction plans; AND, it should be PROPERLY INSPECTED by qualified inspectors during construction. A Certificate of Adequacy, indicating that the wall was built according to the sealed plans, should be issued by a competent licensed professional upon completion of construction.

Ray