Author Topic: Mr Gallagher's suggestions.  (Read 48 times)

Michael Caswell

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Mr Gallagher's suggestions.
« on: August 20, 2020, 03:38:37 am »
Mr Gallagher has apparently written to the Canal Corp. with a suggestion that 'trees and wooded slopes are to be preserved and enhanced'. Here is his complete proposal.

All this is admirable and could be applied to many areas along the canal where there are 'wooded slopes'. But we are not really discusing 'wooded slopes' here. We are discussing 'Earthen Embankment Dams'.

These Dams are man made structures and historically are well known to collapse due to a number of reasons, but mainly due to poor maintenance problems.

Our dams are classified by Dam Engineers and the NYPA (the owners of these dams) as HIGH RISK OF FAILURE. They also are badly engineered, being over 100 years old when the engineering experience was very limited.

Our Dams were built without toe drains, and with extremely steep slopes. The section from Pittsford to Fairport having less than a 1:1 height to base ratio when current recommendations are 1:3.
Coupling this with a slope covered with 150 feet tall & 100 year old trees, many of which are at the end of their life cycle compounds the dangers.
There is a high risk of trees uprooted by blow downs, which pulls holes in the embankment.
Many of these trees are Cottonwoods, known to rot easily and drop branches dangerously.
The tree roots are such that they are growing under the towpath and into the canal. See the overhing branches that are 'giving shade' Roots grow out to the same distance.
The trees are on a dangerous saturated slope because of the phreatic line.There is a tremendous hydrostatic pressure on these dams when the canal is full, this is NOT just a 'wooded slope'.
There is a huge amount of brush growing on these slopes and dam engineers have repeatedly stated they cannot carry out inspections.
If there was an emergency, equipment could not gain access to carry out emergency repairs.

There are many areas where the base of these dams needs to be re-engineered to ensure there is no slump of saturated soil.
In the section from 31F to Ayrault Rd, there are numerous huge gouges, running from top to toe of the dam, some 10 feet wide and 8 feet deep. They are currently used as pathways. I suspect they were formed from run off washing away the soil over the years and then pedestrian traffic. These need to be repaired.

Unfortunately, this vegetation has to go to allow access for repair maintenance and inspections. Anything less would be putting a whole community at risk.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 02:01:31 pm by Michael Caswell »

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Michael Caswell

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Re: Mr Gallagher's suggestions.
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 12:45:51 pm »
Eminent   =  of a person) famous and respected within a particular sphere or profession.
Imminent =  about to happen.

Doug K

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I guess we all have to get used to this Facebook group continuing to ignore their own members postings, which are pointing out the danger to pedestrians, bikers & boaters with falling trees. How many more pictures have to be posted before some of these group members see the light?

And we will have to continue to hear the slanted view of safety along the Erie Canal with posts like what has been shown below. Once again it's Mr' Gallagher with all the answers.

The New York State Canal Corporation is NOT trying to maintain a "forest", it is trying to maintain UNSAFE EMBANKMENT DAMS. These dams are covered with trees, and that doesn't constitute a "forest" sir. Not even close. But this Facebook group won't use the word Dams, they say hills & slopes. They also won't admit that the "natural growth" they want to keep, is NOT naturally found on safe & properly maintained earthen dams. They want to find an answer that allows unsafe trees to stay on unsafe dams, but that isn't an option that works, as the NY State Canal Corporation has stated over & over.

The Erie Canal Earthen Embankments are not a forest, or even supposed to be a habitat for animals. They hold back water from flooding NY State residents, 100s of millions of gallons of canal water. Those embankments allow the Erie Canal to exist and be a navigation route across the state, used by local & world travellers.

But that simple fact doesn't seem to matter to folks like Kevin or others in this Facebook group. They makeup nice sounding phrases to try and make others believe they understand the problems and know the answers. They state false information and try to pass it off as legitimate, it is wrong and they ARE a danger to many in our community. The reason the Erie Canal Neighbors Association exists is to fight the mis-information being spread by people like Mr. Gallagher, and this group who wants to stop a public safety program from being completed along the Erie Canal.

Unfortunately the very denial of the truth about dam safety along The Canal, shows the true ignorance of this group and Mr. Kevin Gallagher.

It doesn't seem to matter to people like Mr. Gallagher that the overwhelming consensus among experts is that Trees on Dams are bad. Bad for the dams the trees are growing on, bad for the public living below the unsafe conditions. And it's also bad for dam owners who face issues with safety and risk to the public and neighbors living near these dams.

Here's what most state agencies, tasked with maintaining Dam Safety in our country, say about having Trees on Dams:

I guess this group and people like Kevin Gallagher have a right to their opinions, just like everyone else. But when they try to push that opinion as "fact & truth" that's where the line has to be drawn. They can keep ignoring these types of truths, they can state that the Erie Canal should have special dam safety rules, just because they say so, but in the end it's all the same...

It's a dangerous game that these Facebook followers are playing, risking the lives of Erie Canal Neighbors because they REFUSE to admit two simple truths:

1) The Erie Canal is lined with Unsafe Embankments and 2) The trees on those Embankments are the Problem

Mr Gallagher made this comment, trying to say that his voice should be heard:

While that "call in a fire" statement may seem right to some, let me FINISH that remark about not being a firefighter, because Kevin has left out the most important truth once again.

Yes, when you see a fire and you can and should call it in, it's a civic duty.

But when the Firefighters arrive, do you really think they will listen to YOUR thoughts & words about how to fight that fire?

You are not a Firefighter, so you do not know the FIRST THING about fighting a fire.. which is leave that kind of work to those who do know what to do. If you tried to tell those firefighters how to put that fire out, I'm sure they would tell you to please go away and let them do their jobs, in a nice way of course.

Kevin Gallagher, have stated you are NOT an Arborist, you have also stated you are not a Dam Engineer or Inspector. Maybe it's time you realized that your words are not those of an expert in any area related to the problem at hand along the Erie Canal. Your suggestions and OPINIONS are not grounded in any learned knowledge in the areas of Dam Safety, it's just the musings of a "Canal Trail Tourist"

Your comments are from someone who walks on the maintenance road, along the top of an embankment dam, next to the Erie Canal. They are not the comments of the dam owners who have to manage the risk to the public and to the Erie Canal systems they are trying to maintain. And they certainly are not the comments of someone who has knowledge of how to solve the dam safety issues.

Time for Kevin, and the rest of this Facebook group to examine if they are helping or hurting the pursuit of public safety along the Erie Canal in New York State

« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 04:55:12 pm by Doug K »