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Project Overview

The Canal Corporation has embarked on an embankment restoration project in order to restore the integrity of raised embankments along certain sections of the Erie Canal, improve the Canal Corporation’s ability to properly manage their condition and keep communities that surround the canal safe from potential flooding due to structural failures.

The work has so far occurred in and around the following municipalities: Medina, Albion, Holley and Brockport.

The Canal Corporation is committed to public safety. Our embankment maintenance project is critical toward that end. We are also committed to performing that work in a way that, to the extent possible, recognizes and accounts for concerns raised by local residents. To ensure that, we are developing, with community input, a more tailored approach.

Q: Why are we undertaking an embankment maintenance program?

A: Together with the New York Power Authority, the Canal Corporation is taking steps to strengthen and reinforce Erie Canal embankments in Monroe and Orleans counties. This work primarily involves removal of trees and other vegetation, which can weaken embankments through root structure growth. This type of vegetation can provide pathways for seepage, which can potentially weaken embankments and result in failure, leading to flooding of lands surrounding the canal. It also prevents Canal employees and inspectors from being able to thoroughly monitor the integrity of the embankments.

Q: What is the scope of the project?

A: Working closely with affected communities and property owners, underbrush, dead and felled trees has been removed. All disturbed areas will be restored by establishing a vegetation surface that will be established with community input and maintained by the Canal Corporation.

Q: What impacts will this project have on your property?

A: The Canal Corporation has taken care to assure the work is being done exclusively on property it owns.

Q: Did you consider any alternative approaches to this undertaking?

The Canal’s embankments are meant to be free and clear of vegetation. While this is still the only approach we can take that will be 100 percent effective, we are also committed to performing work in a way that, to the extent possible, also recognizes and accounts for the concerns raised by local residents. The project goal is to maximize risk reduction by removing vegetation from the highest-risk embankments first.

Q: How are you communicating this work to the public?

The Canals and NYPA public affairs teams have held conversations and meetings with elected officials at all levels of government as well as stakeholders; multiple public information sessions have been held to date, as well as private meetings with elected officials and/or homeowners; letters have been sent to NYSCC permit holders where appropriate; updates have been posted on NYSCC’s social media pages including Facebook and Twitter; newspaper ads have been placed to inform the public about upcoming public information sessions and a webpage that is updated regularly was created to share information.

Q: Did you consider any alternative approaches to this undertaking?

The Canal’s embankments are meant to be free and clear of vegetation. While this is still the only approach we can take that will be 100 percent effective, we are also committed to performing work in a way that, to the extent possible, also recognizes and accounts for the concerns raised by local residents. In 2018, we will remove dead and felled trees ONLY, as well as underbrush while a more tailored approach is crafted. The project goal is to maximize risk reduction by removing vegetation from the highest-risk embankments first.

Q: How are you communicating this work to the public?

The Canals and NYPA public affairs teams have held conversations and meetings with elected officials at all levels of government as well as stakeholders; five public information sessions have been held to date, as well as private meetings with elected officials and/or homeowners; letters have been sent to NYSCC permit holders where appropriate; updates have been posted on NYSCC’s social media pages including Facebook and Twitter; newspaper ads have been placed to inform the public about upcoming public information sessions and a webpage that is updated regularly was created to share information -- it can be found here: here

About the New York State Canal Corporation

New York’s canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. In 2017, New York is celebrating the bicentennial for the start of the Erie Canal’s construction.

http://www.canals.ny.gov

Image of canals

CONTACT INFORMATION
If you have additional questions concerning the Vegetation Management Project, contact:
Jackie Schillinger, Manager Public and Community Relations
NYS Canal Corporation
30 South Pearl Street, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 449-6026
jacqueline.schillinger@canals.ny.gov