Retaining Walls & Landslides

  • Retaining wall stabilizes a roadway

    A retaining wall stabilizes a roadway

  • Construction of a Retaining Wall

    Construction of a retaining wall

  • A street starts to slip down a hillside

    A street starts to slip down an unstable hillside

  • a retaining wall protects the right of way

    A retaining wall protects the right of way

  • A major landslide in the 1980's

    A major landslide in the 1980's

With nearly 50 miles of City-owned retaining walls and some of the most dynamic hillsides anywhere, Cincinnati's undulating terrain presents an ongoing challenge to the technical staff of the Structures Section.

The local geology and past development practices have left many miles of roadway affected by hillside movement.

The goals of the retaining wall and landslide stabilization program are to bring all existing walls into good condition and stabilize landslides that impact the City's roadways.

By inspecting each City wall on a six-year cycle, the wall group can effectively prioritize the needs for retaining wall replacement or rehabilitation.

Input from the City's engineering geologist and geotechnical consultants give wall designers critical information needed to arrest landslides before city streets and utilities suffer serious damage.

The wall and landslide program's annual infusion of capital funds is carefully allocated to meet the most urgent needs for wall construction and landslide correction.

Landslides On Public Property

The primary function of the Geotechnical Office is to provide geotechnical expertise concerning landslide stabilization and prevention within the public right-of-way and other property controlled by the City.

The geotechnical staff is available for consultation with all city agencies.

Landslides On Private Property

Earth stability of private hillside development is under the control of the Department of City Planning and Buildings through the excavation and filling of land regulations of the Cincinnati-Ohio Basic Building Code.

The direct responsibility for the administration of the regulations is performed by the Building Plans Examiners in conjunction with their review of plans for building permits.

The geotechnical staff assists the plan examiners in their review of projects in landslide-sensitive areas.

Wall Reports and References

► Cincinnati Geologic Environment ODNR Report

► Landslides and Your Property

► USGS Cincinnati Overview Report

► 2020-2021 Retaining Wall Report

► 2018-2019 Retaining Wall Report

► 2016-2017 Retaining Wall Report

► 2015 Retaining Wall Report

► 2014 Retaining Wall Report