Author Topic: Erie Canal NTM Review for 2022 - Inspections! Repairs! Reduced Depths!  (Read 33 times)

Doug K

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If you have been watching the many NYS Canal Notices for this season, its easy to see that NYPA, new caretakers of the Erie Canal System, are VERY serious about finding & fixing public safety issues along the NYS Canal System.

To date there have been about a DOZEN Notice to Mariners (NTMs) or Public Announcements on the NYS Canal website dedicated soley to Underwater Inspections of all 4 major Canals, or Inspection/Repair of bridges that cross over the canal.

Now if reduced depth (or width) issues along the waterway are added into the mix, there are more than a dozen more NTMs issued for everything from silt build up, to inoperable locks and also a half dozen embankment seepage and stabilty issues. Overall these 3 main issues make up over half of the NTMs used to report issues along the waterway that affect boaters, or those using the roads around the Canal System

Obviously the NYS Canal System is "broken", perhaps from years of neglected maintenance under the NYS Thruway's watch, or maybe from years of canal mis-management that tended to focus on how to "avoid" expensive repair at all cost, instead of keeping the Erie Canal in "good operating condition" per NYS Canal Law.

Pay me now, or pay me later...that's what the Erie Canal has said loud and clear to New York in 2022... and now it's LATER.

Even the NYS State Comptroller has weighed in twice on safety issues, citing the general issues with Dam Safety in New York State in 2018, and another Comptroller Report that specifically identified all of this "missed inspection & maintenance" along the Canals as early as 2015.

But that's all "water under the liftbridge" now.

NYPA is serious about restoring the NY Barge Canal to its "like new" state, evident by their new emphasis on Canal Embankment Integrity, and their Embankment Safety efforts. As a Utility Company, serving the public, they are not allowed to ignore the SAFETY issues raised by NYS Comptroller Reports.


Afterall, a simple calculation, based on the proposed Embankment Repair work, now reveals that when NYPA took over the NYS Canal System they also inherited 125 miles of uninspected, ill-maintained, and overgrown earthen dams. That sinle change in ownership most likely insured that the New York Power Authority now owns the largest amount of dams needing repair or full remediation in the entire State of NY.

All told there is close to 1500 acres of unsafe earthen dams or overgrown shoreline that needs to be dealt with sometime soon, its 7 years past due now.

So, as NYPA has said many times: "We can't inspect what we can't see, and we can't fix the Canal System if we can't inspect these areas to find the problems"

Unfortunately while all of this Canal Safety effort moves forward, there are some on social media claiming "nothing is wrong, the Erie Canal is not broken, and trees need to be left alone". But that's not what the facts say... and not what all these Notice to Mariners are indicating. In fact, it's just the opposite.

So be forewarned...

The ONLY way to insure New Yorkers are safe from possible Erie Canal embankment breaches, breaches that would flood thousands living below its heavily used "towpath trail", is to either allow NYPA, & the New York State Canal Corporation to INSPECT & REPAIR these safety issues, or DRAIN THE CANAL and abandon it, until such a time when "social media" influence is finally suppressed by Erie Canal Neighbors and the public living in the path of flood danger.

Show your support for Erie Canal Safety, please sign our online petition
« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 07:42:32 am by Doug K »

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