Author Topic: Erie Canal Embankment Safety, a clear case of definition.  (Read 608 times)

Doug K

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Erie Canal Embankment Safety, a clear case of definition.
« on: January 24, 2019, 10:31:26 am »
It's been awhile since anything has been written about the NY Canal Corporation EERP Project on the ECNA Forum site. Blame it on the recent winter weather slowing the EERP repair work crews or maybe the fact that fewer folks are complaining about the project on the Facebook page dedicated to stand in the way of this safety-driven project, or maybe the ECNA Forum writers simply needed a break. Whatever the reason it seems the Erie Canal repair project has started to make people see the obvious, yes there is an Earthen Embankment Dam in our backyards. 

As many who are involved with this project know, EERP stands for the Earthen Embankment Remediation Project and the work that many living along the Erie Canal Trailway have seen transform hills near their property, that were once covered in trees and "undesired" underbrush, into a much cleaner, vegetation free, and safer embankment dam. Based on the sections of dams through part the EERP Phase 2 work in Brockport, it also looks like the NY Canal Corporation (NYCC) and NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will have ZERO issues with future inspection accessibility. As the NYCC moves to drone-based inspection of the Erie Canal, this remediation work will allow for a more thorough inspection process using their thermal based imaging. 

Hard to imagine so many neighboring homeowners had missed the simple fact that these slopes, adjoining their properties or running through their neighborhoods, were actually EARTHEN dam embankments. Hopefully the EERP Project transformation has prompted many folks to rethink their opposition to this NYCC safety project simply by showing them that these embankments are actually Outboard Slopes of a series of interconnected Dams when cleared.  Sometimes these are VERY long Embankment Dams. Below is a picture that has been circulated to many Hydrology & Embankment Experts involved with this project, and everyone who has seen it now states unequivocally that what is shown is an Earthen Embankment Dam. This is part of a 4 mile long embankment dam section in Brockport, NY, that reaches heights of 35' or more.

You see folks, if you understand the actual definition of a Dam, you also understand that the picture above is showing one... some here don't.

NY Canal Corporation's original statements about this EERP project; that most if not all embankment sections were deemed "unsafe" by current US Dam Standards, has been proven to be true. The NYCC also holds the most recent Erie Canal Inspection reports performed by Rizzo Engineering showing that almost ALL sections of the dams are not able to be properly inspected due to thick undergrowth which have been found to be almost 100% invasive species. All of this is corrected by the EERP project, and a safer dam will be the result.

Also recently proven true was the statement made by the NY Power & Canal about the nature of their work, that is was a REPAIR being made to an existing dam structure, not that the NYCC folks were simply "clearing land" as some in the area have proposed. The lawsuit brought by 3 towns in Monroe County to stop this EERP project based on "SEQRA" requirements, was recently overruled by NY DEC, who understood what was wrong and how the NY Canal Corp intended to make it right. the DEC also recognized that these slopes are actually earthen dams.

In the end it appears that the NY Canal Corporation and it's parent entity, the NY Power Authority, were telling the truth regarding this project, and also watching out for the safety of the Erie Canal Waterway, the National Heritage Corridor and it's all of our surrounding canal communities when it embarked on this EERP project.

It bothered me how so many of my own neighbors could not see what this project is about, choosing to follow those promoting a course to keep the very trees causing the problems with the embankment dams. Maybe it's because they empty the Erie Canal for the winter months and folks lose sight that these are still Earthen Embankment Dams. Thought a picture might just help  here. It was taken from the same spot as the picture shown above, just a close up of the actual cleared embankment. If it was FULL of water in the Winter would it  make it easier for people to believe it's a real dam? Here's what it would look like folks.. YES it is still a Dam in the winter.

As a Monroe County homeowner with 400 feet of earthen dam frontage, a known Erie Canal leak on our property and 3.5 million gallons of water behind our dam section, ready to flood northeast Brockport, I wanted to take the time AGAIN, to say Thank You to the NY Canal Corporation & NY Power Authority's decision to stand FOR safety on this project, especially when so many in the public blindly followed those working against public safety... in the name of "trees".

Not sure why others can't see what's right in front of them, it's always a dam somewhere, it always has some water in it above ground level.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 01:34:49 pm by Michael Caswell »

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