James McClellan III doesn't much care that city workers are about to start shoring up the side of Missionary Ridge above his home on Glenwood Parkway.
For him, the damage has been done. He said mud coming down from the ridge last September smothered a storm drain and wrecked his retaining wall.
"They were supposed to be down here in May," he said.
Starting today, the city will begin a $300,000 mudslide mitigation project just below the intersection of Shallowford and Obey roads, said Lee Norris, public works administrator.
But the first priority is to prevent another mudslide.
"Until we fix the source, we can't fix the properties," Norris said.
Talley Construction has been hired to perform erosion control on the hillside, including building retaining walls and installing netting.
Next week, the contractor will start doing what is called soil nailing, similar to what is being done on the W Road up Signal Mountain. That work is intended to ensure the soil and rock stay in place.
Once the project is complete, Norris said, the city will landscape and restore grass for homeowners affected by the mudslide.
It was September 2012 when hard rains came, a water main ruptured and mud started flowing down the ridge into Glenwood subdivision.
Reginald and Roberta Abernathy, who have lived on Glenwood Parkway for 20 years, said their backyard filled up with mud.
They have waited and waited for the city to come help.
"Fix the yard," Reginald Abernathy said. "If you're not going to fix the yard, tell us."
Roberta Abernathy said the city already could have addressed the problem.
She took video and pictures as the muddy mess rolled into their yard in September.
"This is our Sherwood Forest," she said. "And we just want to enjoy it."
Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6480. Follow him at twitter.com/cliffhightower or facebook.com/cliff.hightower.