Looking forward to the future of journalism

More retaining wall problems discovered in a San Antonio subdivision

After a towering retaining wall collapsed and threatened scores of homes last year in the San Antonio neighborhood of Rivermist, an obvious question arose: How safe were the untold number of other residential retaining walls in the city? Under city code, walls in San Antonio over four feet tall were supposed to go through a … Read more

Timeline of retaining wall collapse in Centex Homes neighborhood built in San Antonio

There’s still more news in the story of the retaining wall collapse at the Hills of Rivermist — builder Centex Homes declined to meet with residents today. If you want to know more about the background of this story, I made this timeline of the major events related to the retaining wall collapse.

City owned a faulty retaining wall

After a tall retaining wall buckled in a San Antonio neighborhood, threatening dozens of homes, rancher Ernest Ruiz called us with a tip about another faulty retaining wall. Ruiz’s story had an interesting twist: The collapsed wall near his rural property hadn’t been constructed by Centex Homes or other homebuilders. This wall was owned by … Read more

San Antonio builders must check all retaining walls built in past three years

An interesting status report was posted online tonight by San Antonio officials who are examining the retaining wall collapse at the Hills of Rivermist. Officials met with local builders, who were told they must review all retaining walls built over the past three years that are more than four feet tall. The builders must make … Read more

Was cracked retaining wall built correctly?

New documents offer more information about the retaining wall that collapsed at the Hills of Rivermist, a neighborhood in San Antonio built by Centex Homes. Comparing the wall’s engineering plans to a memo describing how the wall was actually built shows the retaining wall might have lacked crucial features: The original engineering plans for the … Read more

San Antonio officials paid scant attention to towering retaining walls

Jen and I wrote a story that ran in Sunday’s paper and was posted online today about the lack of oversight of retaining walls in San Antonio. We looked at this issue after a retaining wall in The Hills of Rivermist, a neighborhood built by Centex Homes, split apart and jeopardized dozens of houses: Despite … Read more

Retaining wall not built to engineering specifications

Jen and I wrote a follow-up story today about the sinking neighborhood in San Antonio called the Hills of Rivermist: The retaining wall that collapsed last week and jeopardized a neighborhood built by Centex Homes was built with less mortar than what engineering plans called for, according to city officials who inspected the wall Friday. … Read more

Maps, plats, and photos of the sinking neighborhood in San Antonio

I’m helping out with the coverage of the “slope failure” at the Hills of Rivermist, the neighborhood in San Antonio where shifting soil and a buckled retaining wall jeopardized homes. Here are some useful resources to learn more about what happened: Express-News photographer Jerry Lara shot recent aerial photos of the neighborhood showing the scale … Read more