Work begins on deteriorating Midvale Ave. wall in East Falls
January 8, 2013By Meg Frankowski for NewsWorks
A masonry crew has begun repairing the cracked wall on Midvale Avenue in East Falls.
The wall, which sits on Thomas Mifflin Elementary School's property and is steps away from the East Falls SEPTA train station, has been a cause for safety concerns in the neighborhood since April.
The School District of Philadelphia initially installed a fence around the area as a precautionary measure, but the fence blocked the sidewalk, causing pedestrians to walk along the busy street.
On Monday, crews removed a tree at the top of the hill and started repairing the stone wall.
Tom Sauerman, president of the East Falls Community Council, says he's thrilled that the district is taking action.
"They are removing a disaster that was waiting to happen," he said.
Sauerman, who filed the initial complaint on SeeClickFix, has been leading the call to action since April. Over the last few months, he's sent numerous letters of concern to the school district, local politicians, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Licenses and Inspections and the city solicitor.
On Jan. 3, Sauerman received a letter from Jeffrey D. Cardwell, senior vice president of facilities for the PSD, which stated that the district was seeking "to rectify the situation."
The letter stated that an engineering firm completed an inspection of the wall, which prompted the district to hire a masonry vendor to complete the work.
The letter also noted that work was originally scheduled to begin the week of Dec. 31, but was temporarily delayed due to the low temperatures.
Sauerman said he's pleased that the architectural integrity of the wall will be restored, rather than torn down. He added that the repair work is estimated to take up to three weeks.
Calls to the School District of Philadelphia were not returned.