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Tree stumps will be removed along canal this winter

Posted 18 November 2018 at 6:19 pm

Press Release, NYS Canal Corp.

Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from last week shows a line of tree stumps along the Erie Canal towpath just week of the Brown Street bridge. A year ago, the Canal Corp. cut down trees along the towpath.

ALBANY – The New York State Canal Corporation has announced that work has begun on the latest phase of an embankment maintenance program for the Erie Canal in Monroe and Orleans counties that will enhance the canal’s safety and security.

Crews have begun surveys to mark canal property lines and wetland areas. That will be followed by clearing and brush mowing of the embankment as well as stump removal, packing and grading. That work is scheduled to begin Nov. 26. In some areas, drains will be added and the outboard slope strengthened with stone and filter blankets to capture water seepage. The work is expected to be completed next spring.

“The safety of those who live and work near the Erie Canal is our top priority,” said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. “This program can provide property owners with the peace of mind that they deserve.”

The work is being done along the canal from Medina in Orleans County, east to Brockport in Monroe County. It follows the removal last year of vegetation in that area along the embankment, which holds in the water over elevated stretches of the Erie Canal.

Vegetation was removed in accordance with guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Administration, Army Corps of Engineers and Association of State Dam Safety Engineers. The consensus among these experts is that trees have no place on embankments, as their root systems can cause seepage and potentially lead to erosion and potential embankment failure that can cause catastrophic damage and loss of life.

Following up on sessions that have been held in Albion and Brockport, the Canal Corporation will hold public meetings early next year to gather input from the public on the final phase of the embankment maintenance program, the best ways to maintain a visual aesthetic along the embankment and to provide property owners with vegetative screening for privacy. The Canal Corporation will soon hire a consultant to provide options for how that can be accomplished without compromising the embankment’s structural integrity.

The embankment surveys are being done by Ravi Engineering and Land Surveying of Rochester. The stump removal, packing and grading will be done by Hohl Industrial of Tonawanda and Tioga Construction of Herkimer.

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