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County awards bid for crumbled wall at south Forsyth shopping center
Retaining Wall

SOUTH FORSYTH – Nearly five months after the retaining wall of a south Forsyth shopping center unexpectedly collapsed, Forsyth County Commissioners have selected a business to rebuild.

Commissioners voted 4-0, with the District 2 seat vacant, to approve a bid for $831,957 to Hayward Baker Inc., for its replacement at the entrance of the Publix Super Market at The Village at Flynn Crossing at the intersection of McGinnis Ferry Road and Windward Parkway. 

The wall fell in April after a heavy storm and was built in 2002 with a 75-year lifespan. Only a portion of the wall fell and Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt said it was his understanding the rest would not need to come down.

“The bidder will basically leave the wall there, they will not remove what’s left,” he said. “They will leave it there and possibly encase it behind a concrete wall, then do shotcrete to face the wall to further strengthen that.”

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 that structural

Procurement Director Donna Kukarola said the county had to bid the project twice and work with the company to fit the county’s budget.

“We met with them to ask what we could do perhaps to hopefully, maybe reduce the cost of the wall and they came up with a change in the face of the wall, which seemed to be the biggest item,” she said. “The other item was the soil nails and the depth they would have to go in with the easement.”

Kukarola said the company would also address drainage issues, which led to 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.

Funding was approved as part of the resolution to come from the county’s capital projects fund.

The property owner and Forsyth County have both looked at the wall since it was completed in 2002.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the county has not received funds from nearby property owners but has notified those who built the wall.

“We have put the installer and contractor on notice of a potential indemnity or contribution plan if we need to,” Jarrard said.