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Old 03-15-2010, 05:09 PM
 
2,721 posts, read 3,399,667 times
Reputation: 1536

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This is minor news, no govt. scandal, no corruption, just a wall built
out of specs. is alll. It is all very minor, speaking from a heavy and highway
perspective.

Developers will pay, not their insurers. All will make money except for the
builders. Cost cutting in construction of the wall will cost them dearly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scammed1 View Post
I am very familiar with the Cull case. I have met the Culls.
This is entirely different. If the ELECTED officals stepped in things may be different. They have put no stop to the building and have done really nothing on behalf of their citizens. Part of the reason is because TEXAS refuses to enact laws to protect its citizens against unscrupulous builders and the city refuses to upset the apple cart because P/C are builders.
They had no permit to build , they built , no punsihment. They had no permission to go onto people's property but they did and made a bad sitaution worse . We even have a law called the Castle Doctrine in whiich you can protect your property and family at any cost.
Like I said previously, the wild and wooly west. This story is incredible and I can't wait to hear those that run against some of these people during election time. Maybe one of the victims ought to run for a seat.
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:11 PM
 
Location: The "original 36" of SA
813 posts, read 1,472,268 times
Reputation: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by huckster View Post
It will not cost 5-6 million to fix the wall , where on arth did you get that information. It would not have cost that much to develop the entire site.
The Express-News is saying $4-5 million for the wall fix (Buyback offers for 27 homes at Rivermist (http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/Centex_makes_buyback_offer.html - broken link)), which leads me to believe they will be rebuilding the entire wall instead of just the portion that failed. Still, that amount of money seems unrecoverable even through reselling of the homes. Perhaps Pulte's insurance carrier will pay for a fix but not an abandonment (i.e. just tearing down the wall and affected homes).
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:39 PM
 
2,721 posts, read 3,399,667 times
Reputation: 1536
Default Wow,

Piers only stop vertical shifts of soil, not horizontal. Piers wouldn't do anything to stop this horizontal soil shift.
The wall shoulld have held, for some time anyway. It was the soil in my eyes. Old quarry material is a most excellent subsoil building material, it is what Ingram mall was built on back in the early seventies, an ancient quarry. The stuff is extremely stable.
City inspectors are not responsible for what is built on private property unless; it is infrastructure(roads, bridges etc.) built within city limits or will be annexed in the near future. Retaining walls and soils compaction on city lots
are not included,especially outside of city limits. I have seen houses and roads built on topsoil, as crazy as this may sound. Structures should never be built on organic matter as it decomposes and will fail. Private eng. consulting firms employ soils inspection technicians who take soil density readings and confirm soil compaction densities that usually range from 90-100% of possible density tp prevent settling or shifting of structures built on these soils.
These, private as opposed to city, construction inspectors can be crooked or just careless and may pass anything. Treated like kings at times- these guys rule the jobsite. All progress hinges on the passing or failing of material density figures.
Developers will contract these Consulting companies voluntarily to cover their behinds in case of future failure of structures. They can then argue in the courts" Look we did it right and here is the documentation to prove it, inspection reports, signed by a lab tech." This stops lawsuits cold, against the developers. Failure is not our fault.
Improperly sampled subsoils materials reports or noncompaction of the soil
along the wall is my impression of what caused this failure. In particular along the wall -which was built after the lots were constructed , then backfilled.

appears from the equipment out there (sampling drill trucks) they do not have a clue yet what plan they will use to fix this

who on earth would think that a rock and mortar wall 30+ feet high less than a foot thick would hold back that load

I am surprised that crap lasted past the first rain....someone must have mistaken an old limestone quarry soils report for the one that goes with this development because there is not a chance in hell that is stable soil

it looks at this point like their plan is to cut back from the homes, probably drill down 80+ feet for piers every 15 feet or so and then dig a 4+ foot deep footer over the top of those piers then fill back in then repeat in a step process on down

they could drill deeper piers and footings further away from the homes up on the hill and go ahead and pour an engineered concrete wall with a rock or paver face on it

all with extensive soil side drainage of course with proper backfill
techniques and drainage procedures

all which look to have been totally ignored in this case[/quote]
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:11 PM
RGJ
 
1,902 posts, read 4,008,678 times
Reputation: 848
I agree with a lot of what Huckster said, but.......part of the problem is that the soil engineers generaly allow this to be handled by their underlings, apprentices if you will. Sort of like the sand/soil studies for Ocean Towers at S. Padre.

Last edited by RGJ; 03-15-2010 at 09:25 PM..
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:41 AM
 
410 posts, read 1,491,012 times
Reputation: 101
Disagree huckster. I'll stick by my comments.
Once the wall and houses are "fixed" I suppose Pulte will try and sell them once again.
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Say-Town! Texas
968 posts, read 2,180,809 times
Reputation: 566
scammed1 I agree with you, the builder could put in a small park or a greenery there and make this whole thing go away, but no, they're gonna build more houses on that soil and those houses are not going to last.

and huckster, this is big news, two inspectors from the city of san antonio have resigned office and several more are being investigated. so yes there is a scandal, the media just isn't covering it!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:39 AM
 
Location: 281 north of 1604 - otherwise known as traffic hell
450 posts, read 1,454,231 times
Reputation: 174
orincarnia - can you show me something to support your contention that two inspectors have resigned? info supporting your contention that others are being investigated?

I am not saying you are wrong - in fact I believe you. I just would like to know where that information comes from.

thanks
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:45 AM
 
12 posts, read 25,951 times
Reputation: 13
Default Manmade Cliffside Street

It is a general consensus among many that the Rivermist wall was built to create a huge "manmade" hillside extension that in places contains as much as 35 feet of fill depth; which in the end added an additional 36 lots with a street down the middle. The failure of this manmade hill and wall is not limited to only one portion; the failure extends the entire length of the wall. Additionally, this subdivision is built on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone and the build up of water behind the wall was as much a factor as the saturated fill material to its failure.

The recent wall failure was the second wall built. Neither of which had a permit to build. The first wall failed and was rebuilt in 2007. See the photos, especially the one titled Where's the Mortar? HomeOwners for Better Building - San Antonio Pulte-Centex Retaining Walls

A proliferation of wall construction has taken place in new subdivisions throughout San Antonio. Although there is a permit required for the construction of retaining walls, the city disregarded any and all enforcement for decades. It seems unrealistic that for a city that imposes harsh fines on the elderly for un-mowed lawns that the city was unaware of these walls being constructed without permits.

In fact, last Thursday Texas Rep. David Leibowitz upset over incident appeared before the City Council and stated, I have been concerned with the construction practices at Rivermist going back to 2007. At the request of several constituents, I had asked the San Antonio Water System, the city of San Antonio, and other governmental entities in 2007 about the quality of the fill material being used at the site and the potential problems caused by the outside fill material being used to develop the site.
Read Letter to San Antonio City Council http://www.hobb.org/images/stories/S...ty_Coundil.pdf
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:03 PM
 
410 posts, read 1,491,012 times
Reputation: 101
People leaving Pulte building, makes real sense.


KABB Fox San Antonio :: Top Stories
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:06 PM
 
410 posts, read 1,491,012 times
Reputation: 101
Two city inspectors resign, two continue working in SA.


Building inspectors in bribery investigation revealed | WOAI.COM: San Antonio News
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