SAN ANTONIO – A northeast side neighborhood is getting results after years of living next to a crumbling retaining wall that put homes and lives in danger.
A News 4 Trouble Shooter investigation
more than a year ago revealed the wall was being held up by railroad ties, but Feather Ridge homeowners faced an uphill battle to get it repaired or replaced.
After that investigation aired, the city and CPS Energy agreed to build a new wall
– one that can withstand decades of heavy rain.
It’s the Fort Knox protecting the neighborhood off Judson Road near I-35.
“It’s an engineering feat,” homeowner Mitch Marszalek says.
It’s also the scenic view out the backyard.
“And it’s beautiful,” homeowner Judy Brice says.
But a beauty you can only appreciate if you saw what was there before.
"It was crazy,” Marszalek says. “It was like the Grand Canyon back here."
Neighbors called it a death trap, worried with each heavy rain that it would collapse.
"Held our breath, and each time a little bit more would come out,” Brice says.
Homeowners mounted their battle to get the wall replaced seven years ago. They met with government leaders, pulled public records and stayed on top of the issue.
"The wheels of government turn extremely slow,” Marszalek says.
But concerned neighbors say patience paid off: after the Trouble Shooters investigation, the city and CPS Energy spent more than a million dollars to build something that will withstand floods.
“The whole design is a seep mode,” Marszalek says. “Almost like a coffee maker. When you make coffee, the water spills out the top, then it filters in the grounds and then it goes through into the pot."
Crews recently finished construction and Brice says she followed the wall’s progress each day.
"It's beautiful,” she says. “Supposed to last 75 to 100 years. That's what the guarantee is."
The wall will outlast most of us – the legacy of neighbors who banded together to build something bigger than themselves.