Author Topic: Macedon's Embankment dam.  (Read 38 times)

Michael Caswell

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Macedon's Embankment dam.
« on: August 25, 2021, 04:22:57 am »
It's not readily noticeable that Macedon actually has an embankment dam. One Macedonian brought it to my attention, so I decided to take a trip out there with my dogs and have a stroll along the canal and see for myself.
The dam starts at Canandaigua Road on the north side of the canal and runs eastwards to Route 31 and Lock # 30.

As you can see from this map, there is an area north of the dam (marked in red) which has Canandaigua Road embankment, running to the railroad embankment, running to 31F embankment, a totally enclosed area.
If you look carefully, you'll see two streams running parallel to the canal, but there is no water source, other than the canal itself. As there is running water visible at the lock end, the only source of water must be from the canal itself, so I'd be inclined to call these toe drains. That means the canal is leaking - somewhere!  How much is the mystery, and where exactly? I'll bet no one knows. How could they? There is so much vegetation.

If there was a breach, the entire area would flood, I'd guess to a depth of ten feet or more.

I first noticed there was a lot of brush growing on the inboard side of this dam, amongst the riprap rock. I was rather surprised about this because our Perinton dam inboard slope is mowed regularly and has hardly any vegetation on it.

Note the overhanging tree, growing into the embankment.  Any self respecting dam engineer will tell you this is a NO NO! And with only a 16 feet wide dam, the roots could easily reach the outboard slope and cause 'piping'.

The trail is just dust and I imagined a mud bath in wet weather. There was hardly any shade along this section, mainly because most of the trees are on the north side of the canal. Yes, we were two mad dogs and an Englishman out in the midday sun!  :-)

As for the actual embankment itself, it's in pretty poor shape.

Note the strip of grass on the right. About a foot further in, the slope of the embankment suddenly drops off. I'd calculate the angle of this slope is about 80 degrees (it should be 30-45 degrees), certainly nothing anyone could walk down. It starts to level out at about 15 feet down, and I'd suggest the corn field below must be 20 feet below the crest of this dam. They must have been short of dirt when they built this.

You can see the lower lying cornfield here.

The brush mostly vines, and honeysuckle, (Controlled invasive by NYDEC) is impenetrable, the trees are not as old as those in Perinton, and I'd guess the biggest ones I saw were only about 12" diameter.

I didn't notice any buildings within my embankment triangle, but I think there are, according to Google maps. Hardly the massive loss of life and property like Perinton, but one life lost to drowning is one too many.

There's no doubt, Macedon has a dam, not a very good one, in poor shape, badly constructed, terribly maintained and impossible to inspect properly. But  it's there and it needs a fixin'!

« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 06:02:34 am by Michael Caswell »

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