Bellevue landslip to be repaired

A “Road Closed” sign has prevented traffic from traveling in the 100 block of Bellevue Street since 2012 when a landslip threatened to send the roadway tumbling down the hillside onto Lancaster Street.

On Thursday Marietta City Council approved emergency legislation to have the landslip repaired because it “constitutes an immediate public hazard…”

“This ordinance is for the safety of those living in that area of Bellevue Street,” said Councilwoman Kathy Downer, D-at large, who chairs council’s streets and transportation committee.

Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, said the work is overdue.

“We’ve been working on this a long time, and as a citizen driving on Lancaster Street (below the slip) I’ve been concerned about the potential for a landslide there that could be fatal,” he said.

The ordinance waived the normally required bidding and advertising process for the project in order to have the work done as soon as possible by Geostabilization International of Grand Junction, Colo., although an exact date of construction has not been determined.

The contract, which reportedly includes driving steel pilings into the hillside to stabilize the slip, will cost $54,300.

Also on Thursday, council unanimously approved increasing the speed limit to 35 mph along Groves Avenue, between Lancaster Street and Gilman Avenue.

The previous speed limit was 35 mph from Lancaster Street to the city limits, about halfway down Groves Avenue, where the limit changed to 25 mph, which made it difficult for drivers traveling down the steep roadway to slow as they approached the bottom of the hill.

“This will also improve traffic flow along Groves Avenue,” Downer said, noting that the speed limit signs along the roadway have already been changed to 35 mph.

In other business, council members approved a $25,000 contract with URS Corporation of Columbus for professional engineering services to prepare a sanitary sewer feasibility study in four residential areas of the city.

Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward, said the neighborhoods, including areas of Cisler Drive, Hillcrest Drive, Lincoln Circle and Bellevue Avenue, had homes operating on septic systems, and the feasibility study would help obtain a cost estimate for the city to provide sanitary sewer service in those areas.

Councilman Michael Mullen, I-at large, noted some residents in those neighborhoods may not favor tying into city sewer lines due to the potential major expense of abandoning their septic systems.

Finally on Thursday, council approved an additional $10,000 for the indigent burial fund which the city is required to provide for interment of indigent persons whose families cannot afford a burial.