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Friday, November 28, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
The Canajoharie Village soon needs to reinforce a 50-foot section of Canajoharie Creek's west bank at the intersection of Mill and Hill streets.

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Village to obtain DEC permit to work in Canajoharie Creek

Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - Updated: 9:57 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- During their regular meeting Tuesday, the Village Board of Canajoharie discussed options relating to the repair of the undermined west bank wall of the Canajoharie Creek at the intersection of Mill and Hill streets.

During a special meeting held on July 24, the board reviewed four bids for the wall's repair. While one proposal involved the wall's replacement, the board is leaning more toward the work detailed in the other bids, which outlined the reinforcement of a 50-foot section of crumbling wall.

The privately owned wall on the east side of the creek, almost exactly opposite the wall in question, has already crumbled, taking a section of parking lot blacktop with it.

Canajoharie Mayor Francis Avery stated of the Canajoharie Creek stone walls, "if you look at them, they speak for themselves. They haven't been repaired for 100 years."

Avery read a letter received Tuesday from LaMont Engineers, who he said "walked the length of the creek", to review the retaining wall's condition on June 17 and July 13.

LaMont said that it's not only the stone wall that's being undermined, but the concrete footing at the base. The west bank wall, LaMont Engineers stated, is "lined with a combination of dried stone", no mortar, while the retaining wall is "made of limestone, with portions of the wall being reinforced with a concrete facade." 

The reinforcements rest on limestone slabs, not bedrock.

Portions of the base retaining walls have been eroded and undermined.

Of the east bank retaining wall, LaMont Engineers stated, "The failure of the retaining walls is a direct result of past flooding that washed away portions of the limestone stone slabs," along with a small dam. Their letter continued, "The potential exists for the west bank retaining wall to fall should future flooding events occur with similar intensity/strength as those of the recent events that caused the east bank retaining wall to fall."

Their recommendation is that "the west bank retaining wall be replaced."

Avery stated, "In other words, the wall can probably not withstand another flood. It could very well cave in."

The village is on a list to receive New York Rising funds aimed at repairing storm and flood damage, however, Avery said, "It does not apply to us this year — we don't really have the luxury of time."

While the village wants to get the wall fixed fast, they still haven't determined where the funds to cover the approximately $75,000 project will come from. They must also obtain a permit from the New York State Department of Economic Conservation prior to working in the creek.

When asked by Deputy Mayor Ronald Dievendorf how long it should take to obtain a permit, Avery stated, "ordinarily, it could take around a year."

Because they don't want to keep one of the bidding companies waiting should it take a long time for the DEC to award the proper permit, the board decided to work on obtaining it before awarding a bid.

     

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