Spanish Fort bluff stabilization unaffected by flipped equipment, Mayor says

SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WALA) – A month into the project, construction continues on fixing an eroded bluff in Spanish Fort. The project on Patrician Drive is scheduled to go two months, but there have been some set-backs along the way.

The $2.5 million project is about halfway complete as of Friday, August 8, 2014. When finished, the bluff will be stabilized. This, after a legal battle with the city of Spanish Fort by two homeowners who blamed their loss of property on the city not maintaining the drainage system.

There have been some challenges along the way including a scary incident earlier this week.

Charles McDevit sent FOX10 News a picture Monday, August 4 showing a large track hoe excavator laid over on its side on the bluff. Luckily nobody was hurt and Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan said the machine is working fine.

“Everything came out perfectly fine – just some slipping sand that the tractor was on and it overturned. No one was hurt. Everything was fine,” McMillan said.

Excavators were back at it Friday, making progress on the bluff repairs. The city bought the property from the homeowners as part of the court settlement and plan to turn the lots into a green area.


spanish fort bluff collapses
This photo, taken In April 2014, shows a bluff in Spanish Fort that is dealing with erosion problems.

Just a few houses up the road on Patrician Drive, Dawn Prouty is afraid her mother’s home or her neighbor’s may be next to face destruction if nothing is done to further fix the drainage problem in the neighborhood.

“It’s constantly washing. It’s like a waterfall. Even if we have a minor rain, and it washes all the way from our neighbors across the street,” Prouty said.

She lost about 25 feet of bluff behind her house after April’s heavy rains. The city came out at the time and inspected it, but Prouty said nothing has been done or said about it since.

“There was no resolution. There was no…I’m really not sure what to say, but basically we all feel totally ignored,” Prouty explained.

McMillan said the city’s first priority is to fix the most severe problem as ordered by the court, but realizes there will need to be more long-term solutions put in place down the road.

“Obviously there’s problems in that area on erosions that are going to have to be repaired somehow,” McMillan said.

Mayor McMillan said the bluff project should be complete within about six weeks.

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