Embankment Integrity Blog

  • NY Canal Corporation states it’s case for safer canal embankments
    As the Spring of 2020 is unfolding, with many challenges to New York residents, it's also the expected time for a restart of the NY Canal Corporation Embankment Integrity Program.   This canal earthen embankment clearing exercise actually started out as a "project" in 2017. It was initially requested in…
  • The most dangerous Erie Canal Dams are hiding in plain sight
    With the NY Canal Corporation's Earthen Embankment Integrity Program entering it's third year it's become apparent to many canal neighbors that the work making these embankment safer is still continuing. There is an Embankment Dam Clearing Guidebook under development by New York Power Authority (NYPA) & New York Canal Corporation…
  • Embankment Dam Piping & Seepage – Viewpoint of an Expert
      The number one issue with earthen dams has always been keeping water inside them. Because of the materials used in earthen embankment design & construction, mainly natural earthen materials of various types, these type embankment dams become prone to over-saturation at some point... and then they start to leak.…
  • Brockport Officials & Residents meet with Canal Corp Nov 2017.
    Brockport Mayor Margaret Blackman says a meeting November 8 2017 between Canal Corp officials, village leaders and residents regarding the ongoing vegetation management project went well. Read all about it here.  
  • Are Erie Canal Embankments actually Higher Risk Earthen Dams?
    Some would say the short answer is YES! The Phreatic Line is one of the favorite topics here at the ECNA, just ask Mike Caswell If you look at the Perinton Safety Video, created by the Canal Corporation, they mention the issues with seepage and breaches. Most of this has…
  • NYPA Canal Ownership: The Pro’s & Cons
    The NYPA and the Canal pro's and cons. Mike Caswell June 13, 2018 I’ve made this amateur video to help explain the pro’s and cons of the projects the NYPA has undertaken to make the canal safer. https://moonrakers.com/NYPAMovie.mp4
  • At Last! We have 20 Years Worth of Inspection Reports!  FOIL REQUESTS.
    At Last! We have 20 Years Worth of Inspection Reports!  FOIL REQUESTS. Mike Caswell April 7, 2018  The Legal Department of the NYPA has sent me 68 reports covering the past twenty years of inspections carried out between Pittsford and Fairport. That might sound like a lot of reports, but…
  • EMERGENCY EMBANKMENT DAM REPAIR!
    EMERGENCY EMBANKMENT DAM REPAIR! Mike Caswell March 21, 2018  Starting week commencing March 27th 2018, The New York Power Authority is carrying out an EMERGENCY EMBANKMENT REPAIR by driving interlocking steel sheet pilings 45 feet deep into the embankment, for a total length of 200 feet. Please note!! This is a classic…
  • Preventing Rodent Burrows in Earthen Embankments
    Bureau of Reclamation The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Dam Safety Branch, the Boise Project Board of Control, the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, and various other federal canal operating entities are seeking new ideas for…
  • Anatomy of an Erie Canal Embankment Leak
    Anatomy of an Erie Canal Embankment Leak. Mike Caswell March 13, 2018 A history of Before & After of a retention pond.. It started as NOT a Canal Leak in late 1990s according to NYS Thruway/NYCC but as is NOW classified as a leak by NYPA/NYCC. A Brockport resident describes his…
  • An afternoon walk along the Erie Canal in Brockport
    I decided to take a drive out to Brockport for a walk I’d heard the Vegetation Project had been halted there due to inclement weather. Today was a pleasant day with plenty of sunshine, so a great time to take a few photos perhaps. Trying to find where the last…
  • This is a MUST READ about Embankment Dam & Levee Safety
    The Corps of Engineers Safety Dam Analysis leaflet is packed with a detailed explanation of why dams fail and what needs to be done. Note the the NY Power Authority (Canal Authority) mentions this article many times. This is where the procedure for restoration of the canal comes from. Dam…
  • Canal Operation & Maintenance Manuals – US Dept. of the Interior
    By far the best set of documents that explains the issues AND remedies for the aging NYS Canal System. It is distributed by the US Department of the Interior - Bureau of Reclamation. Click any of the pictures below to open the manual Canal_Embankments Canal Vegetation Canal_Animals
  • Canal Corporation Embankment Restoration Plans Explained
    There are TWO canal embankments efforts going on right now, divided by where one stopped and the other is about to start. The first Embankment repair effort is the Earthen Embankment Restoration Project (EERP) and it ran from west of Lockport to east of Brockport. That is about 27 miles…
  • Earthen Dam Inspection – At the Root of Embankment Safety
    Dam Inspection is the key to SAFE Erie Canal Earthen Embankments... Currently many of the 125 miles of raised embankments are covered with the wrong vegetation making them nearly impossible to properly inspect. There are many groups that work to make Dam Safety a number one priority in our country…
  • NYS Canal Corporation Vegetation Management Explained
    The Canal Corporation has implemented a comprehensive. Education and Community Outreach program to inform and educate the local communities in advance of the Vegetation. Management Program. Read their VM Outreach Presentation here.   Why does Vegetation need to be managed on Canal embankments? Watch this video. The Canal Corporation has stated that…
  • Erie Canal Embankment Video Tour – The Oxbow Dam in Fairport
    I felt it would assist people in understanding the problems existing on the Earthen Embankment Dam between Perinton Park and Bushnell’s Basin if I took a few photographs of the area where I spotted PRUDENT ENGINEERING using surveying tools on January 5th. They were here about four hours, working slowly along…
  • Keeping The Canal Safe For Generations To Come
    A letter to The Democrat and Chronicle from Brian Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation. Click here to read the letter He spells out the reasons why vegetation removal is a top priority for the Authority. “We intend to follow the best practices set forth by these…
  • The Oxbow Lake Embankment Dam in Perinton – 1918 vs 2018 Comparison
    Fairport/Perinton Circa 1912 Here is a photo of the embankment at The Oxbow in Fairport.  It was taken circa 1912. There are several points worth noticing here. In the center of the photo, the electricity pylon can be seen clearly perched on the top of the embankment. On the opposite…
  • Minutes from Canal Corporation Embankment Restoration 2017 Meeting in Brockport
    Brockport had a meeting on the Embankment Rehabilitation They posted the Q & A online on their Village Website Many questions have been posted from the Brockport Public Information meeting held to discuss Embankment clearing & Restoration.There were some interesting questions asked here, with really constructive answers. I found it…
  • Engineering Maps of vegetation removal locations along the Erie Canal
    Here's where all of the original MAPS from Rizzo Engineering are located... These are from the first Earthen Embankment Restoration Project that the NYS Canal Corporation started... and run from Lockport to Brockport. Three towns stopped progress east. EERP Project Vegetation Removal Maps   Now the Erie Canal Embankment Clearing…
  • Canal Embankment Integrity Program Delivers a Safer NY State Canal
    NYS Canal Earthen Embankment Integrity Program will fix structural issues along the canal's many raised embankments... It's not hard to imagine that trees fall or get blown over in NY State. Most times it's a simple cleanup, but not when it happens to trees on Earthen Dams that line the…

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