Collapsed wall near ditch could pose problem for students | News

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Collapsed wall near ditch could pose problem for students

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Every day, the children attending Highlands Elementary travel along an uneven sidewalk on DePaul Drive.

"They run up and down this sidewalk all the time," said Troy Jacobs.

Jacobs doesn't have any children in the school, but he is concerned about their safety.

"It wouldn't take much for one to trip and fall over in there," he said.

Jacobs said over the weekend, one of the head walls that supports the crossing beneath the sidewalk collapsed, creating a potential danger for the kids.

Grace Gwaltney lives near the ditch and has watched the wall over the years slowly fail.

"The other side is starting to really slope and there are cracks," she said. "The other side is going to fall."

She's not an engineer, by any means, but she knows her community.

"I've been here since 1963 and it has never been like this," said Gwaltney.

She's afraid the collapsed wall, which is part of the ditch and sidewalk support system, is the first step in complete failure.

"It looks like it is about to cave in on that side as well," she said, "They're already repaired it twice."

These residents are so concerned, they wanted us to see the problem and see if we can get it fixed.

"I'd like to see it fixed back properly," said Gwaltney, "and maybe guard fence or something because of the children that come by here."

We contacted the City of Jacksonville Public Works Department and after inspecting the area they will fix it.

"Public Works will repair the head wall at the outfall ditch and repair the drainage structure," said city spokesperson Debbie Delgado, "barricades are being put in place to secure the area."


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