A lane of the West Side Highway near West 123rd Street is still closed after officials discovered a dangerously unstable retaining wall along the road yesterday afternoon. The wall is cracked in at least one place, and CBS2 reports that police closed two northbound lanes of the road yesterday afternoon at around 4 p.m. Traffic remained backed up late into the night.
This morning, NY1 reported that emergency crews were still on the scene assessing the state of the wall, which keeps the dirt beneath Riverside Park from crashing onto the roadway.
Car commuter Brian Rexhepi told CBS that he's seen the wall looking shaky for a while: "I’ve noticed that it’s about to fall down. It’s a little loose there. The dirt is like, every time it gets more and more rainy, it seems like it’s pushing up farther towards the street."
A Parks Department spokesman said that the wall was built in 1930, and that work will begin at 8 p.m. tonight to remove a decorative granite covering "that is pulling away from the wall." We've asked for more details on what that work will entail and what effect it will have as far as lane closures, and we'll update if we hear more.
In 2005, a 150-foot stretch of wall below the Castle Village apartment complex at West 181st Street collapsed, crushing cars, and requiring a 2 1/2-year, $23 million cleanup. The city blamed the development's managers for failing to maintain the wall, and stuck them with the bill, which they in turn hit up residents to cover.