Forsyth County Commissioners are taking steps to repair part of a retaining wall at a south Forsyth shopping center.
At a recent meeting, Forsyth County commissioners voted 5-0 to approve moving ahead with a construction and maintenance easement for and payment to the property owner of a damaged retaining wall façade at Flynn’s Crossing at the McGinnis Ferry Road and Windward Parkway. The façade collapsed unexpectedly in April 2017.
“This is the easement we need, the permission if you will, to basically rebuild that wall and drill some sub-surface nails to show up that side of the wall,” said County Attorney Ken Jarrard. “This has been vetted by the attorneys of everyone involved. This also authorizes the payment of $17,500 to [property owner McDonald Windward Partners III, LLC], which is the entity that we have been negotiating with.”
Jarrard said the county had been negotiating the easement for “a long time” and the county needed the agreement to move ahead with work.
“The reason why the county hasn’t been able to get this done in the past is because we didn’t have the right to enter their property for certain abilities to secure the wall with pins and metals and stuff and get in there to do certain work,” said Commission Chairman Todd Levent.
In September, commissioners opted to approve a bid for $831,957 to Hayward Baker Inc., for its replacement at the entrance.
Previously, officials said the wall was built in 2002 with a 75-year lifespan. Only a portion of the wall fell and Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt said in September it was his understanding the rest would not need to come down.
After the wall fell, county engineering officials likened the portion of the wall to a brick façade on a house, meaning the portion that fell was more for aesthetics than structural purposes.
Drainage issues have been given as a possible reason for the failure.
Though the wall is part of a commercial shopping center, Forsyth County is involved since about two-thirds of it is on county right of way, after the property owner donated the land during a traffic signal improvement project done by the city of Alpharetta.
The property owner and Forsyth County have both inspected the wall since it was completed in 2002.