Fort Street Boulder Removal Encounters Unexpected Glitch

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The project to remove another boulder from the unsteady Fort Street hill was running smoothly, until Wednesday.

The contractors noticed an problem with the rock and had to take Thursday off to come up with a new way to tackle the project.

Michael McAvoy, an engineer with ODNR, said they were first concerned that the rock would be too hard. As it turns out, though, it was too soft.

"This sandstone was so soft that they drilled into it quite easily and tried to split it apart," McAvoy said. "But where they drilled their hole and put their wedges into it, the rock was actually crushing under their wedges and it wasn't splitting apart. So instead of getting nice large pieces, they were getting small pieces of sandstone about the size of a basketball or softball for their effort."

Though the contractors were not on site working Thursday, McAvoy submitted a video of an actual day on the job to WOUB News. (See video above)

The contractors had to order a new piece of equipment, called a "boulder buster" which uses something similar to a 12-gauge shotgun shell, minus the shot.

With the one-day delay, the project is expected to be completed by Tuesday.

McAvoy has confirmed the equipment is in and work will continue Friday.

The boulder became an issue last year when one nearby rolled down the hill. While no one was hurt, a home was damaged and a car was crushed.