Homeowners near Piedmont pipeline want retaining wall - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Homeowners near Piedmont pipeline want retaining wall


The big Piedmont gas pipeline snaking its way through Oak Hill, Radnor Lake and Green Hills is causing fury and concern at every turn. And some are begging Piedmont to do more to protect their properties.

Neighbors are worried that once the pipeline is finished, their homes are at risk from flooding and landslides.

The pipeline project is hard to miss as crews install a new 20-inch pipeline through hundreds of private properties and even the Radnor Lake State Natural Area.

And all along its slithering path are worried homeowners.

"If you look at that there, you know that it's going to heap water, and we've had mudslides like you've never seen," said homeowner Jim Kennedy.

And that's not Kennedy's opinion. It's the opinion of a geotech survey taken in the area.

Ben Cherry knows way too much about geotech assessments, as his home was almost wiped out by a mudslide in the 2010 floods.

It cost $50,000 to get his house back, and now he's worried it will happen again.

"I don't know how we can survive it again," Cherry said.

And that's the locals' point. Two geotech assessments suggest that Piedmont should build a retaining wall along the pipeline to move water in a safe and smart direction.

Piedmont claims in its own literature that "Piedmont's goal is to leave the property on which its pipelines are built in as good or better condition than when they found it."

Residents ask, why not build a retaining wall?

"The money they spent on lawyers, they could help the whole neighborhood. But they are playing hardball," Cherry said.

"They are going to backfill and try to smooth it out and make it look good for the environment - spread some grass seed out - and then the next time we see them, there will be a sign on the gate saying, 'See ya,'" Kennedy said.

Piedmont representatives did not return our calls for comment. They certainly aren't going to stop the project, but neighbors want them to consider putting in that retaining wall.

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