Photos by Eldonna Lay and Meghan M. Lay
February 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Motorists along Fuerte Drive at Mt. Helix drive and on Chase Avenue near Fuerte in the unincorporated areas of the County will soon be safer, thanks to two new retaining walls under construction. The walls are being built to halt erosion of enbankments and rockslides onto the roadways below.
Fuerte Drive is the road originally constructed by Colonel Ed Fletcher Jr. over a century ago, leading to Mt. Helix and the mountaintop park, says Eldonna Lay, curator of the El Cajon Historical Society and author of the forthcoming Centennial reissue of Valley of Opportunity, the History of El Cajon. Massive steel girders are being installed to hold the slope in place.
As for the Chase Avenue wall, Lay is grateful for the county supervisors’ investment in the road improvements, noting that the new wall is “tidy, attractive and it’s keeping the slope from collapsing onto that road during too much rainfall, or an earthquake.”