Post reply

Message icon:

Verification: Search engine are not allowed to complete captchas

shortcuts: hit alt+s to submit/post or alt+p to preview

Topic Summary

Posted by: Doug K
« on: August 02, 2022, 07:46:52 pm »

1200 views of this ECNA Post, making it the most popular by a landslide.

Please take a look, there are plenty of pictures of a typical Erie Embankment  transformation. This is what happens when aging, unsafe, overgrown Canal Embankments, that are covered with overgrown trees, meets the New York State Dam Safety Rules.

What you see was accomplished using 21st Century science and engineering principles as a guiding light... not myth, opinion or hearsay.
Posted by: Doug K
« on: August 09, 2021, 08:19:03 am »

Hopefully this post will END the continued MISREPRESENTATION going on in a certain Facebook Group.

It appears that a Facebook group in the Rochester NY area, called Stop the Canal Clear-cut, is trying to pass off 2-3 year old pictures of westside embankment maintenance as the final version of the EEIP work to clear unsafe embankments. Here's a recent post by a new member of the group, note the picture being used that was from a Kerri Neale.

Now the TRUTH is that the Canal Restoration along the 60 mile canal pool, west of Rochester, has been COMPLETED and is now fully restored, and it DOESN"T look anything like what this group has portrayed to it's membership.

Here's a the embankment view looking EAST, taken this morning, August 9, 2021

And here's the same spot...looking WEST.

You can look at the BEFORE & AFTER photos posted here, in the prior posts & replies, all pictures were taken within a few paces of each other. And you can also see the "during" images, as construction equipment was used to clear, prep, and replant grass where all that invasive vegetation use to be. Everything is here from seeding to trail repair after the embankment work has been completed.

Now which images to you think show conditions that pose LESS DANGER to the embankment dam structure?

Which pictures show conditions that would have less issues from "falling trees or limbs" on the Empire Trail?

Which images show embankments that have increased the ability, to properly inspect the earthen water impounding structures?

And that is exactly what the NYS Canal Corporation said they needed to do, and is also the impetus behind this Earthen Dam Safety Program.

It's not about harvesting trees, it's not about saving the about RESTORING PUBLIC SAFETY along the NYS Canal System.
Posted by: Doug K
« on: May 07, 2021, 02:39:39 pm »

First of all, full disclosure, because that's always best when you are listening to anyone talking about the Erie Canal &  Earthen Embankments. There are a few folks out there with some strange views about this work, and there are quite a few Canal Neighbors who simply do not want to see the danger in their own backyard.

I am an Erie Canal Neighbor and my wife & I live BELOW the waterline of a newly repaired earthen embankment that was deemed unsafe in 2017. Our embankment had vegetation removed in 2018, grass planted in 2019, and a year of embankment stabilization in 2020. Finally in 2021 the original project of fixing canal embankments has reached the final phase of "restoration" here, that is restoring the privacy and peace of mind we had before this work started.

Seeing the culmination of this New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC) Earthen Embankment Restoration Project (EERP) play out over 4 years has been "interesting" to say the least. We have learned quite a bit about the canal, and how it's run by New York State, and also the major differences between the neighbors that live along the canal and the many "guests" of the Canal Corporation, who walk along the Top of the Embankment Dams along what's called the Empire Trail.

For some of us NEIGHBORS, this EERP work has only been yet another issue to divide neighborhoods, friends, & family. Hopefully with the final stages of Embankment Restoration completing now, those neighborhoods & old relationships will start to heal.

For some of the GUESTS of the NYSCC, the changes being made to the Erie Canal, in the name of Public Safety, have been something to "resist & protest", simply due to lack of understanding what the real, tangible problems are with 100 year old earthen dams and running a 200 year old water "highway".

But after you look at the final set of PICTURES that will be posted here, you decide what is better for the sustainability of the Canal System, the safety of Trail Users & Neighbors living below these embankments and whether or not the NYS Canal Corporation delivered on their promise of a safe, grass-covered embankment and privacy restored to those neighbors who needed it.

Just so that we are clear about the FUNDAMENTAL reason for the NYS Canal Corporation's EERP work.. it was to remove unwanted, over grown vegetation and replant grass covering, the only vegetation approved for this type of earthen, water impounding structure. That is shown in this picture.

And some Canal Neighboring properties required a NATURAL privacy barrier planting, to mitigate issues caused by the clearing of the overgrown vegetation that was on the embankments for the past 75 years. It looks like this.

Drum Roll Please...

Here's a nice view of our "east" embankment... part of a 1 mile long Earthen Dam. The pictures were taken from relatively the same spot and show Before Vegetation Removal, After Grass Planting and now with a fully RESTORED privacy barrier. Note that the new barrier vegetation is only placed at the very TOP of the embankment, where a shrubs & bushes of this size would be allowed. Also note that the unwanted vegetation was 60 - 80 feet tall and the new variety has a peak height of about 12 -15'

What a difference, right? Well here's the view looking west from almost the same spot... an even more pronounced affect on the neighborhood.

So I will ask again, why would anyone complain about getting a SAFER Earthen Embankment that looked like this?

Nothing was "clear-cut" as some have been claiming.

And others, who have been opposed to this work have stated that a lack of oxygen would occur due to all the trees being removed.

The plan all along was clear here, remove the WRONG vegetation on the Earthen Dams and REPLACE it with the allowed & approved vegetation.

The Canal Corporation will soon announce that they actually have REPLACED the cleared away embankment vegetation, mostly large overgrown or dead Willows & Cottonwoods, with over 1700 new plantings. As many as 6 different varieties and many are evergreen types, providing year round privacy screening for the neighbors living below. They may also be stating that they replanted MORE than they removed, along the 25+ miles of Embankments they cleared as part of this EERP effort.

But sadly that still will NOT matter to a few individuals in the Rochester and surrounding suburbs. Because some people simply do not accept "any changes" in  Life as well as others might. It's all part of the Science of Change, which shows a set pattern that most people take, when confronted by a significant change or event in their life "bubbles".

It's outlined below in the image, and comments made are mine.

I have taught classes on the Science of Change, to many people in my career, and I will ask you the same question... based on this particular change along the Erie Canal.

What Stage of Change are you at, when it comes to clearing unsafe Canal Embankment vegetation and replacing with grass and approved greenery?

More pictures will be added as the Winterberry & Dogwood shrubs start to get their new leaves, which will no doubt help the privacy aspect of this new Restoration Barrier planting. If any other Canal Neighbors want to share their own embankment restoration pictures please do so.

Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: April 21, 2021, 07:58:55 am »

SHARP!    Well done NYPA!
Posted by: Doug K
« on: April 20, 2021, 06:13:22 pm »

For those of you who have waited faithfully, just a bit over 3 years now, here's the finished product from the NYS Canal Corporation and their Earthen Embankment Restoration Project.

This is what a safe dam looks like, that has also had a barrier planting added to mitigate privacy issues between the Empire State / Erie Canal Trail (ECT) and many neighboring properties.

The picture shows the view from the bottom, one most people do not see who use the trail.

For those neighbors affected by the Earthen Embankment Restoration Project (EERP), if you see the EERP work behind your home, go out and ask to see the plan for planting along your property. The NYS Canal Corporation normally has a Project Lead on the work site and they have a very detailed plan for each neighboring property.

I thought about what we asked for when input was requested for the Barrier Screening Plan and I also know what was delivered.

The REMOVAL phase of EERP along our property actually removed about 37 trees.

The NYS Canal Corporation planted 80 privacy shrubs/bushes in it's place during the RESTORATION phase

Our property received 25% MORE plantings than we asked for, and 60% were evergreen type. We wanted 100% but that would have capped the total at 60 trees total, and we have 80 now.

The best part is that the Evergreens were planted to get the best amount of sound protection from the surrounding roadways, and also highest level of privacy for the bulk of our property. Many trees were placed directly in alignment with the source of the noise pollution in most cases.

You look at the pictures and decide if the new look is better than the mess that used to be there , making the embankment unsafe, dropping tree limbs all over the trail and neighboring properties.

Posted by: Doug K
« on: April 01, 2021, 10:31:19 am »

Right on cue, again, the NYS Canal Corporation has their Earthen Embankment Restoration Project (EERP) Field Supervisor on the job, directing their Partner/Supplier Wayside Nursery from Lockport, as the final phase of the EERP dam clearing continues where is left off. The embankment marking process is closely followed by men, women and machines that start planting according the finalized EERP Barrier Plan that was created by the NYS Canal Corporation and CH Associates, their environmental design partner.

Below are pictures of the process of digging holes, planting the natural privacy screening plants that are allowed

Top picture is looking EAST towards where the EERP finished, Bottom picture is looking WEST towards Brockport Village

As you can see there is plenty of room for hikers & bikers

Posted by: Doug K
« on: March 26, 2021, 07:11:19 am »

Here's the official letter, sent to Erie Canal Neighbors, regarding the much anticipated Earthen Embankment Restoration phase of the Dam Safety Project started here in Brockport, and to all Canal Towns west of here, in 2017.

It confirms what the ECNA has already reported, but gives an estimated COMPLETION date for all the EERP Barrier Restoration planting... late May. As we see progress we will post pictures here, and ask that other neighbors do the same.

The red underlined words are a statement that hasn't been made enough, so we will make sure it is now.

Because it's ALWAYS been about Safety, safety of the Canal Employees, the Canal Neighbors, and the Canal Trail & Waterway users.

You can follow the link below for more on the original Embankment Restoration Project.

Posted by: Doug K
« on: September 04, 2020, 02:37:49 pm »

If it hasn't sunk in yet... the Erie Canal is lined with Embankment Dams, 127 miles of them. These earthen dams haven't been seen in many years due to the number of trees covering them. They also haven't been inspected, which should worry those living below them... for miles.

This is what it looked like in 2017, just before the initial clearing.

And since the New York State Canal Corporation, and their parent company New York Power Authority, decided to embark on an Earthen Embankment safety program, to clear the danger and make these embankment dams "safe again", there has been an uproar in the Rochester area, which has now boiled over to the point where people are making fools of themselves, trying to fight against public safety initiatives in our area.

Worse yet, the folks fighting against dam safety, are doing it in the name of the environment. That would be the same "'environment' that the Canal Corporation is trying to protect, from what could be a devastating flood... yes flood like Midland Michigan. The dam that broke in Midland was the same height as many along the Erie Canal in our area. One thing the Midland folks wanted and didn't get, was an advanced warning about the flood danger. Rochester has been told about the danger and many are choosing to fight against it, online, on Facebook.

Sadly the voice of the true Canal Neighbors to these unsafe Earthen Dams, have been drowned out by the voices of those who are casual guests of NYPA. They are folks who walk along the top of the dams, on the Canal Corporation's Empire Trail, and they feel taking away "trees" is a sin. Even unsafe, dangerous ones making 127 miles of ERie Canal Dams unsafe...

But enough about "a fools journey"

So we've been showing this embankment transformation on the ECNA Forum for a few years now... my wife & I see it every day and wonder why we never saw it before. Take a look and see the difference a change in vegetation does to an embankment dam... this section is 400' long, about 16' tall.

Now you look at these pictures and decide... do you see an embankment dam?

And guess what, it's no surprise that most people using the Trail and Canal now say the Erie Canal looks BETTER with grass along the Empire Trail, grass that is now covering those long earthen dams which used to be covered with trees. That is the consensus from impromptu polling in our backyard.

Can you imagine that? Good looking. better views & SAFER too, it's a miracle!

And what of the Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority? Well they were able to fix 20% of their Unsafe Embankments just like this, in spite of the failed efforts of  a well meaning, but mis-guided Facebook group, trying to stand in their way... you know who you all are.

Here's the view from the Bottom of the Embankment

And from the Top of "The Dam in our Backyard"

Many people around the Rochester area have been spreading false narratives and "fake news" about this Canal Embankment Program, let's set the record straight now:

1) As you can see the grass (and weeds) are nice & green. The grass does get mowed periodically, more than the FEMA required two per season mowing. Was it brown in the heat of summer? Yes, of course, just like the grass in our own backyards.

2) The embankment is not "washing away" or eroding now that grass has replaced the trees, no big washouts as some have stated. Very stable & SAFE, even in the worst downpours we have had lately.

3) There is plenty of wildlife along these "new" embankments, we see fox, deer, geese and plenty of raccoons. There are no burrowing animals here now. And plenty of waterfowl and raptors are now easy to see, no trees block the view.

4) The Canal Corporation can now find and MARK the leaks on the dams, which was impossible to do before. We have four pink "leak" stakes here on our dam, and those leak everyday. Of course the repaired Tow Drain System now catches and diverts that leaking water where it should go.

5) The visitor traffic on the Empire Trail is alive & well. Some folks said that visitors & tourists would stop using the Erie Canal with the trees gone, that didn't happen. If anything, the Covid pandemic has brought more people out to use the Waterway & Empire Trail this season, and many people from other countries are raving about the look... it's what is normal to them.

6) All of the trees are NOT GONE as you can see in the pictures, just the dangerous ones on the earthen dams, still have shade, still have plenty of oxygen here. Many trees are left still, just not on the earthen embankments. So anyone or any group saying that the Canal Corporation will "take down all the trees". is simply spreading false information.

Just a reminder about the phony narrative and fake news regarding this Canal Embankment work. Normally these statements seem to come from "fake environmentalist" trying to push an agenda that has nothing to do with community safety or canal sustainability. It's more about their narrow-minded views of any changes to the Erie Canal that might upset the little worlds they have created for themselves on their walk along it.

These folks tend to say: 'If it's not broke don't fix it', but sadly they can't understand the Canal is broken and this is what a proper repair looks like. What you see in these pictures is summed up by these two words... Safer Dams

But it may just take a devastating flood of Canal Neighbors to prove the Canal is a catastrophe just waiting to happen, especially to this group of Facebook folks fighting against change...

Posted by: Doug K
« on: June 30, 2019, 03:07:37 pm »

Of course the Erie Canal Trail work evened the edging out the next day or so... and here's the other side of the trail getting it's edge

If anyone doubted the ability of the Canal Corporation to complete the first prototype of Embankment Rehab just take a look.

Here's where the embankments all started:

And here's the same dam in Zone 37... edged on both sides and READY right on time.

Just in time for what you ask?

The Canalway Challenge

Journey Along the Erie Canal

NY Parks & Trails - Cycle The Erie Canal

For more on Trail Repair on the Western Section of the Erie Canal Trail... see the Orleans Hub
Posted by: Doug K
« on: June 25, 2019, 10:09:39 am »

Just when you think the Erie Canal Trail restoration work is done... the Canal Corp Rehabilitation workers add their final touches... Trail Edge

Here's what the ECT Trail Edger looked like... seems like they are using standard highway construction equipment

And a nice collage of the process to add a stone dust retaining edge to the ECT... which if you didn't know it is REALLY an Embankment Dam Inspection & Service Road

And instantly the restored Canal Trail is made even that much better

Here is a GREAT video of the process to add trail edge support taken "drone style"

Posted by: Doug K
« on: June 18, 2019, 03:05:18 pm »

Today was the FINAL STEP of the Embankment Rehabilitation Process... Stone Dust for Erie Canal Trail Restoration

Here's a few pictures showing the stone dust equipment... minus the giant roller.

It's not too noisy...and it's a very QUICK process.. runs continuously as long as the truck is there filling the hopper. This process is running about 900' per hour, they will have finished the 1.35 mile long Embankment Dam east of Brockport in less than 7 hours. They started at the Park Ave bridge at 8:30 am.

If they find anything large in this step there is a repair made before the roller does its job. This is the repair being made for several large stones found in the stone dust

So what does the Brockport East Dam Look like today? Here's the comparison to the pictures

BEFORE Trail Repair

And AFTER the Trail has been repaired.

So... what do you think... was it a good idea or not to fix the unsafe embankments and "Reimagine" a safer Erie Canal?