BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. (PIX11) — A large piece of construction equipment inched its way down in Briarcliff Manor Monday afternoon. It’s destination was what is now a precarious sliver of what’s left of the backyard at 28 Country Club Lane, following the Saturday morning collapse of a huge retaining wall that spilled debris across all four Metro-North Railroad train tracks.
The home’s current owner, who was in no mood to talk to PIX11 News, made a beeline for the backyard of the home he bought just a few years ago and now rent’s out to a tenant.
MTA officials said because this was a privately owned retaining wall, the property owner will be footing the bill for what is expected to be a massive cleanup job on the tracks, as well as the reconstruction of the retaining wall above.
Fortunately, there were no injuries.
Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi said the agency inspects retaining walls every three years and suspects Mother Nature is partly to blame for its sudden collapse.
“We were not aware of a particular condition at this location. But as you, we’ve had very, very heavy rain throughout the fall. It was raining very, very heavy on Friday, and this happened Saturday,” said Rinaldi.
Neighbors, including longtime homeowner Bobby Gendron, said he recalls the home’s previous owner built the multi-tiered retaining wall, adding he remembers it having issues on at least three previous occasions.
“I’ve been here since 75. These walls are monstrous. My feeling is how often does it have to occur before you get either the proper engineering or realize this is not working. I feel bad for the owner, and this is going to be a huge expense,” said Gendron.
Metro-North Railroad officials said they haven’t even begun to calculate the cleanup cost. There is chatter among the crews the Metro-North portion of the bill could run deep into the six figures, and that does not include the cost of rebuilding the retaining wall.