Neighborhood Warned of 26th Street Collapse Potential… In 1998

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Photo via ABC2 Twitter
Photo via ABC2 Twitter

By now, you’ve presumably seen the horrifying footage of the huge sinkhole landslide that swallowed several cars on 26th Street during yesterday’s storm. But did you know that the neighborhood has been campaigning to get the unsafe area fixed for nearly three decades?

When this Baltimore Sun article was published on October 19, 1998, the neighborhood had already spent 15 years warning officials that erosion was making the sidewalk sink and causing a potentially dangerous situation. “I’m just sick of the condition of railroad properties in our city,” Bernard “Jack” Young (yes, he was a city council member back then, too) told the Sun. “Overpasses are falling in.” The Sun notes that the street’s structural problems were “believed to be among the worst in Baltimore’s residential areas.”

Sixteen years later, the crumbling retaining wall was in such bad shape that torrential rain caused it to collapse and–well, you saw what happened next. Maybe now Baltimore’s leadership will finally get the message and prioritize shoring up our aging infrastructure before the next disaster happens.



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3 COMMENTS

  1. It certainly doesn’t help matters when the media insists on calling this a sinkhole. It’s a retaining wall collapse. “Sinkhole” is the city’s way of saying “not our fault, it’s like Florida”.

  2. I looked at buying a house on that block, but heard that the land around the tracks was unstable. So I passed.

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