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New Report Shows More Could Have Been Done To Prevent 26th St. Collapse

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Placing blame. A new report points the finger at maintenance crews for not being thorough enough with inspections prior to the 26th Street collapse.

Christie Ileto explains officials didn’t do a good job addressing complaints from residents.

A portion of 26th Street collapses, taking with it the sidewalk and cars. Residents long argued they alarmed CSX and the city of the crumbling structure before it happened.

Now a new report Sunday shows maintenance crews dropped the ball.

“We never really took the extra step that we needed to take to figure out what was causing the repeated loss of sub-base underneath the roadway,” said William Johnson, director, City Department of Transportation.

The news is not sitting well with John Grant.

“I can’t say no bad words on camera, but I think that’s a bunch of crap,” he said.

He used to catch the bus on 26th and St. Paul streets.

“I lived here for 20 years. I watched that street gradually go into the condition that it has gone into,” said Grant.

The City Department of Transportation says their workers and CSX did do visual inspections, but none of the maintenance crews were even qualified to identify problems with the failing structure.

“The city has come out five or six times and told me not to worry,” one resident said.

“I wrote to CSX a year ago about this,” said another.

Residents say their concerns fell on deaf ears until this past April, when 100 years of asphalt came crashing down on railway tracks. Last week, the city and CSX agreed to split the costs of rebuilding the retaining wall.

Residents who were displaced for weeks are now living in a construction zone, while city officials are vowing to make sure every resident complaint from here on out is addressed rigorously.

Repairs will cost around $15 million. They should be completed by the end of the year.

Neither the city nor CSX are taking responsibility for the collapse, but are blaming the incident on a harsh winter and heavy spring rains.

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