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Alpena bi-path still blocked off due to standoff over wall

Submitted by on April 9, 2010 – 3:18 amNo Comment

A section of the Alpena bi-path remains blocked off as the City and a contractor continue to debate what caused a retaining wall to collapse.

The roughly 200-foot section of wall collapsed in May of 2009, behind the Fowler Apartments on River Street.  Since that time the city has been trying to resolve the problem with Pete Hunter of Hunter Construction. 

The City’s wall was constructed at the same time as the bi-path, in 1995.  About two-years ago Hunter put up a secondary wall behind the city’s wall, closer to the apartment building.  The work was done for the Alpena Housing Commission, which owns the apartments.

An approximate 200-foot section of the Alpena bi-path has been closed off for nearly a year due to a collapsed retaining wall.

The City believes Hunter’s work ultimately led to the collapse of its retaining wall.  Hunter disagrees.  City Manager Thad Taylor said the two parties are still trying to rectify the situation, but added it might not be resolved without a lawsuit.

An engineering study conducted by Hunter’s insurance company determined the problems are equally shared between Hunter and the City.  A housing commission study came up with the same result.

Hunter’s insurance has agreed to pay half of the $54,000 needed to construct a new heavy-duty wall along the bi-path.  But, the City believes Hunter is responsible for the entire amount.