Neighbor worries eroding creek bed could lead to a tragedy

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A homeowner called NBC4 about concerns over a creek washing away the bank next to a roadway.

NBC4 looked into his concern.

A scenic stretch of the Big Walnut Creek just south of where Interstate 270 crosses, has a large section of the bank washed out and neighbor John Barlow said it could potentially endanger Noe Bixby Road.

“That cliff is going to wash out and somebody driving on Noe Bixby is going to go into the drink and get killed,” said Barlow.

He said his family often hikes the grassy trail that starts at the end of Groves Road and runs through Catalpa Park, down to the Big Walnut Creek.

“I have watched it erode for more than three years,” Barlow said.

“It’s is twice as bad as it was last year.”

Barlow said he became more and more concerned as time went on, and said he has called both the Columbus’ City Engineer’s office and the 311 helpline several times.

“We contacted the city engineers and they came down and took pictures and that was over a year and a half ago, and they have done nothing,” said Barlow.

NBC4 paced off the area between the eroded bank and Noe Bixby Road’s guardrail, measuring less than twenty feet. It is hard to tell how much of the cliff has peeled away without getting near the top.

“That cliff is 60 to 65 feet up there so when that gives way, there is going to be no warning,” Barlow said.

NBC4 went to the Columbus Department of Public Service who oversees city roads and repairs, to see whether they are aware of the eroding creek bank.

Jeff Ortega, Spokesman for Public Service said they cannot find any records where someone from the engineer’s office visited the site in the past, but said they are looking into the matter and will assess the situation.

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