Engineer: Improperly Installed Pipe Caused Wall Collapse in Roanoke Co.

Roanoke Co., VA - Engineers say they know what caused a retaining wall to fail over the weekend near 220, leaving quite a mess on a high profile development being built near Tanglewood Mall.

It happened Saturday soon after heavy rains hit the area.

Luckily no one was hurt, but there are a lot of people wondering what exactly happened.

The engineer who designed the wall at the South Peak development says the partial collapse was apparently an issue that had been developing unbeknownst to anyone, until about 800-square feet of that wall gave way.

The primary factor, according to an engineer, was an improperly installed drainage pipe that has been seeping water for some time.

The problem caused the wall to separate from the geo-grid that holds the wall in place.

That separation was exasperated significantly during Saturday's downpour.

"There was a separation between the curb and gutter and the asphalt pavement that occurred, I believe, after the initial movement of the wall and opened a gap allowing more water to get in there," explained GeoTech Engineer Mike Circeo.

"Things like this happen. Especially when you are dealing with a project of this size and complexity of this one. We're dealing with it the right. While we fix it we will continue to develop the other aspects," said South Peak Developer Hunter Smith.

The rest of the wall has been inspected, ABC 13 has learned, and there are no other issues from what engineers can tell.

While crews are reconfiguring parts of the drainage system, ABC 13 is told the repair to the wall itself will take about two weeks to complete.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off