Ellicott City Begins Repairs To Retaining Wall Damaged By Train Derailment

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Repairs started Monday for a crumbled retaining wall in historic Ellicott City, damaged by a train derailment last year.

Christie Ileto has details on the project moving forward.

Construction crews are removing rocks holding up the embankment of the railroad tracks in historic downtown Ellicott City Monday. Part of the wall collapsed when a CSX train derailed last August, killing two teenage girls standing on the railway bridge when the cars overturned.

“It’s necessary. Right now, the way the wall has been stabilized since the train took a piece of the wall down, it’s just a rock slope,” said Department of Public Works Deputy Director Mark DeLuca.

Howard County Public Works says that’s not a permanent fix, as a portion of the spaces aren’t usable.

“The rock is stable. but it’s only a temporary condition,” said DeLuca.

Right now, construction workers are getting ready to haul off hundreds of rocks to make way for a 157-foot-long, 13-foot-high concrete wall.

“Normally, we would park here and now we park across the river, which is kind of an inconvenience–not for us but more so for our clients,” said Sheila Plein.

The project, funded by CSX, closes Parking Lot B in the heart of downtown, forcing some businesses to find other parking accommodations.

“It’s great that Howard County is on it and fixing what needs to be fixed,” said Plein.

“It’s going to be an inconvenience and we apologize for that but it’s part of the process from recovering from that terrible tragedy,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

Construction will last for the next four months and will happen during the day on weekdays.

After this project, crews will repair the retaining wall near Mulligans Hill Lane.

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