A collapsed retaining wall is the latest setback for a shopping center development in a New Jersey community that never wanted the project in the first place. The mayor of Parsippany said that the wall had not appeared on the building plan that the town approved. He said the builder, RD Management, would be held responsible for the unauthorized construction and its subsequent collapse during heavy rains.

Cleanup of the failed retaining wall will require the temporary closure of one lane of Route 46, the mayor said. Residents could expect traffic delays during rush hour. He expressed his gratitude that the collapse did not hurt anyone.

Local authorities had turned down a proposal for the Waterview Marketplace project a few years earlier. The developer finally gained approval from the city council and former mayor for the development after adding low-income housing to the building plan. The retaining wall collapse comes after multiple site problems, including erosion, traffic disruptions and damage to a utility pole that sent live wires sagging over Route 46. Area residents generally disapprove of the construction and wish that the acreage had remained as wooded green space. RD Management expects to finish construction at the end of the year.

Delays and defects at construction sites sometimes trigger disputes with contractors, suppliers, local governments or investors. A person involved in a development dispute might benefit from the guidance of a construction law firm. An attorney familiar with construction law could evaluate the client’s position and recommend strategies for resolving the problem. Legal representation could prepare a person for mediation, arbitration or litigation.