“I just hate us see us spend any money on something like this and in five years we might say, ‘Hey, we got to tear all this down and start over,’” said Miller, saying he does like to see preservation when possible, “but you have to be practical, too.”
The plan is for Pleasant Avenue to be widened to as many as four or five lanes in five to 10 years, said Public Works Director Ben Mann.
“I’m not sold on doing too much with that (wall) right now because you don’t know what the future holds,” he said.
The stone wall has transformed from a perimeter wall to a retaining wall in some areas, which Kleingers engineer Mike Brunner said is not good. The wall was likely at the same grade when it was built, he said. But yards likely were raised when the Parliament Hill subdivision was built in the 1970s, and Pleasant Avenue was raised — as much as 10 to 12 feet in some areas — as it was built. And since likely has no footing, it’s leaning or bulging either east or west in various spots of the wall.
Fairfield Development Services Director Greg Kathman said he likes to see historic and older features maintained, but said, “The time to do it correctly was when the subdivision was built and designed (40 years ago).”
Mann said this section of Pleasant Avenue sees more than 19,000 a day, according to the last Ohio Department of Transportation count in 2019.
“Ultimately, we would want that to be three, four or five lanes, and definitely (include) a sidewalk or multi-use path,” Mann said. “That kind of a project would likely when we would have to address wiping out this wall at this point or doing some major effort to try to save it.”
Widening Pleasant Avenue would be an estimated $12 million project — a price tag that would increase in five to 10 years, city officials said — and require outside funding.
Council has advised staff to put any funds for safety improvements in next year’s capital improvement program for consideration.