trusses by Cahoon Park in trouble, report says
By Jeff Gallatin
Published March 14, 2007
historical areas of the city by Cahoon Park are crumbling and the
city may have to put money into repairs if it wants to cement their
place in the community.
Mayor Debbie Sutherland said the city recently received
a report that the concrete trusses of the historic abandoned interurban
railway tracks over Cahoon Park are crumbling and in need of repair.
The survey was conducted by Solar Testing Laboratories, a Brooklyn
Heights firm, as part of a study on whether to place a pedestrian
or bike path through a portion of Cahoon Park. There are eight trusses
currently, four east of Cahoon Creek, and four west.
Mayor Debbie Sutherland said the study was being done
as part of doing something positive in terms of possible positive
development and instead brought bad news of the historic trusses,
which are about a century old, she added.
“They’re in pretty bad shape,” she said. “Apparently
we’re either going to put some significant money into them or they’re
going to come down.”
“In general, the concrete columns, beams and girders
show numerous cracks and spalling and are deteriorating due to weathering
and exposure to freeze thaw cycles and lack of routine maintenance,”
the Solar Testing report said. “A few large trees have grown too
close to the trusses thus allowing youngsters to climb these trees
and gain access to the top of the trusses.
“It is our professional opinion that the access path
in this area should be restricted and the trees be cut down to eliminate
youngsters from climbing the trees and gaining access to the top
of the trusses. If it is the city’s intention to preserve these
trusses for historical reasons then a restoration plan should be
implemented, otherwise these trusses should be demolished.”
Sutherland said there are no cost estimates yet on
possible repair costs, but said City Service Director Jim Sears
will be leading inspections of the trusses to help the city consider
its next move.
“We need to consider all the information carefully
and see what it would require of us before we make a decision,”
City Council President Brian Cruse said it’s possible
the city could receive outside help.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Cruse said. “But
I know organizations like the (Bay) Village Foundation and other
groups interested in historic preservation look into matters like
this and might be willing to help out. We should explore those kind
of options as well.”
Sutherland said there is no specific time frame for
action, but said they will take steps to make sure the area is as
safe as possible.