Author Topic: STCC's Brockport Embankment Dam safety concern follow-up visit  (Read 46 times)

Doug K

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There was a concern raised by the STCC about a small piece of the 6000' long embankment dam on the west side of Brockport Village.. just getting back with an update on work being done there and why these two areas may have been passed over. Seems like the author is trying to make the point that this area has been "passed over" while areas on either side have been cleared. He states that it's the "same slope, same housing".

Well that "same slope; same housing" statement is not quite true based on conversations with the folks assisting the Canal Corporation. With the initial Embankment Restoration Project, decisions had to be made regarding the filing of Special Environmental Quality Reviews (SEQR). Some folks close to the project have said that the Canal Corporation passed over some Zones or Dam Sections that would present "significant challenges" to getting those SEQR reports finished by the next de-water working season. Anything that might need special treatment was put into this category as well, covering most culverts and some areas close to public & community shared spaces.

Those dams areas that pose a more challenging SEQR review have all been placed in the new Embankment Integrity Program and will be covered in subsequent Embankment Safety initiatives starting in Fall/Winter 2019 when work starts in Pittsford - Perinton. The Environmental Review work has been ongoing in our area and across NY state since January 2019 and is due in October for all remaining Erie Canal Embankment Dams

On to the STCC Concern's: Both of these uncleared sections in Brockport fall into this "Needs more SEQR review" category for two very different reasons:

First let's look at the smaller of the two sections in the Zones 34-36 area which has been left uncleared. This is Zone 35 shown on Project maps. It is right next to Culvert 59, which is shown in the image at the end of this post. This means that the above ground work could affect the integrity of the culvert that passes under the Erie Canal and these trees. With the history of Canal work near culverts we all can understand why they steered clear of this until they can have a team do a more thorough Environmental Review. After all this Culvert actually has a stream that runs thru to Corbett Park & Playground... a heavily used public space in Brockport. I have heard that a clearing may occur well ahead of the final steps just to remove the safety issues from falling limbs.


The second area mentioned is due west about 1 zone's Zone 33 and it's shown in the image below. Of all the slopes in Brockport this one ranks up with the tallest & steepest. The slope is at best 2:1 but may be less. It is heavily vegetated with very old dying willows and cottonwood trees. Some as large as 5' diameter are on the very top of the Embankment Dam, removal WILL affect the Erie Canal Trail significantly... as these root balls are 10' or better in diameter. And again, the Evergreen St Tot Lot Playground sits right below the Dam. To make matters worse, most houses in the area have almost no room between property lines and the Toe of Slope for this section of Dam.

I have included a few pictures here as well of these areas. They both require a good, hard look at safety before, during and after Dam Repair work is complete. And given the tight timelines on the NYCC "winter maintenance" season, the decision to leave more challenging dams sections to better SEQR review seems like the best thing, and EXACTLY what the STCC asked for.. wasn't it?

Just to be absolutely clear... Any sections of Embankment Dam, that can be seen along the Erie Canal, that have not been cleared yet, WILL be cleared as part of the Canal Corporation's new Embankment Integrity Program.

Not the ECNA's words, that comes directly from the NY Canal Corporation who is taking our safety very seriously these days.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 01:53:12 pm by Doug K »

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