Work starts on lot drainage, flood-damaged wall by courthouse

by Kate Shunney

Work began last week on a project to rebuild a partially-collapsed stone wall along Warm Springs Run near the Morgan County Courthouse.

Preliminary work started last week on the collapsing stone wall on the east side of Warm Springs Run behind the county courthouse.

The wall, which was unstable and leaning, was further damaged during the June 3, 2018 flood that hit the county.

Morgan County Commissioners voted on March 4 to award a contract to GHS, Inc. of Morgan County to rebuild the stone wall at a cost of $53,410.

The wall will be rebuilt with some FEMA flooding funds and local tax money.

The county received $38,158 from FEMA toward reconstruction of the wall. The remainder of the costs will come from carryover funds, said commissioners.

The wall is considered an historic structure, so it will be built with the existing stones and reconstructed in the same style, said county officials.

County Administrator Stefanie Allemong told commissioners that GHS will remove the entire damaged portion of the wall. It runs from U.S. 522 along the run channel to Congress Street.

Contractors plan to build a 3’ by 3’ base stretching 115 feet along the run using gabion baskets filled with stone. On top of that, they will create a concrete footer that will hold the finished stone wall.

Commissioner Joel Tuttle said he wanted GHS to work with Matt Pennington of the Region 9 Planning & Development during the pre-planning stages of the project.

County officials and Region 9 have been talking about ways to add landscaping at the edge of the run and courthouse parking lot to contain and clean runoff from the paved lot.

That runoff has caused troubles for a neighboring structure, and can be a source of contamination for the run.

Last Friday, workers were digging a drainage channel along the edge of the courthouse parking lot and had removed a small part of

the stone wall.