$1M may be needed for Bennett Field wall repair.

Byline: Nick Kotsopoulos

WORCESTER -- It could cost the city as much as $1 million to repair a badly deteriorating concrete retaining wall along the Gates Lane side of Bennett Field, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. told the City Council Tuesday night.

The retaining wall, which mirrors the grade of Gates Lane on the western side of the park and is about 20 feet tall at its highest point, has been crumbling for a number of years, prompting Webster Square area residents to complain about safety issues.

District 5 Councilor Gary Rosen has called on the city administration to report on the condition, integrity and dangers of the retaining wall at Bennett Field, and also provide a plan and timeline for its repairs.

Mr. Rosen said "massive chunks'' of cement are still falling from the retaining wall on to the field below.

He said he saw three more cement pieces on the ground during a recent visit to the park.

"It looks like the wall is almost holding up Gates Lane,'' Mr. Rosen said. "If that wall comes down, it sounds like some of the road would come down with it. Residents have told me they have been complaining about this to the city for years, but nothing has been done about it.''

Mr. Augustus acknowledged that the condition of the retaining wall is an issue. About $20,000 was included in this fiscal year's capital budget to have an assessment done of the retaining wall, but Mr. Augustus said the bids for that work came in at more than twice that amount.

He said more money will have to be set aside to have that work done.

"We are talking somewhere in the area of a $1 million to repair that wall,'' Mr. Augustus said. "It's significant. It is on the radar screen, we are aware of it and we're going to have to do a full assessment to get the full cost of what it's going to take to do that. But it's definitely on the city's radar.''

Issues about the condition of the retaining...

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