Norton City Council and the Ridge Avenue Stone Wall

In their March 5th meeting the Norton City Council agreed to have a structural engineer take an in depth look at building a big stone wall along Ridge Avenue which has been closed to traffic for close to a year. Test results to date look promising but there’s no guarantee of safety without major structural changes.
City Manager of Norton, Fred Ramey stated that the dry stack sandstone wall with no mortar could be 100 years old. The current wall is over 200 feet long and roughly 25 feet tall.
According to an engineer from Lane Group, its clear that some of the stones in the existing wall have separated over time, with some noticeable gaps and a prominent bulge in the tallest portion of the wall. Since the city has no records of the original wall construction there’s no way to determine the exact movement of the stones since the wall’s erection. After six surveys in the past year alone, the movement of the stones has been roughly one third of an inch.
After several tests spanning the past few years, and with recorded movement in the past year, it was recommended that the city close the road. Possible methods of reinforcing the existing wall, include building a buttress in front of the wall, erecting a new partial wall or utilizing metal tie back anchors to help hold the stones in the current wall in place.
Vice Mayor Mark Caruso stated that nothing has been heard that would suggest an imminent collapse of the wall at this time. Council has agreed to have a structural engineer look at it and in the meanwhile the road would remain closed.

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