City: Streets Surrounding 26th Street Collapse Safe; Cause Still Unknown

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been one week since a Baltimore City street collapsed onto the CSX tracks. City leaders say they still don’t know what caused it to crumble. Now, displaced homeowners are pushing for answers.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the investigation.

City leaders held a news conference Wednesday afternoon but it appears there are still more questions than answers about what happened.

It’s been seven days since 26th Street crumbled onto the CSX tracks below. But what caused the road to cave in?

“We’re looking to see what caused the collapse,” said William Johnson, Department of Transportation.

When will the street be stable again?

“I’m pushing my people to get that information compiled,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Who’s responsible for the property, the city or CSX?

“People are still pulling that information up,” Johnson said.

And what was the condition of the road before the collapse?

“We have loose data. It’s not telling a story,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Residents say they’ve complained for years to both the city and CSX about the condition of the road.

“It was very evident that the road was sloping. There was a crack that was rapidly expanding,” said displaced homeowner Wendy Wu.

Engineers are now installing a temporary barrier to shore up the collapsed road. That’s expected to take 8-10 days to complete.

Homeowners who have been evacuated will be displaced for several more weeks.

“It’s a huge impact. It’s unexpected. I do feel like the emergency team responded appropriately,” said displaced homeowner Erica McCullough.

The mayor says she is trying to help those who are out of their homes.

“We will get to the answers and in the meantime, I’m expediting all the claims so the residents aren’t in limbo,” she said.

But they’ll have to wait for answers about how this happened.

The city has conducted radar tests on nearby St. Paul and Charles streets and found both to be safe.

The mayor has launched an internal investigation to determine if residents’ complaints about the road prior to the collapse were properly handled.

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