ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – With recent emergency repairs announced along parts of the Erie Canal, already disgruntled neighbors are speaking out again.
The dispute between the New York State Canal Corporation and residents of communities along the Erie Canal has been going on for monthsnow. The Canal Corporation says work needs to be done to maintain embankment safety, and residents say they are cutting down an unnecessary amount of trees.
Ginny Maier has been helping organize efforts to stop the tree removal. She says communication with the Canal Corporation feels like its always two steps forward and one step back.
“We certainly don’t want to interfere with an actual safety problem that they might be addressing. But I think we are a little skeptical given the record of a lack of transparency on their part in terms of articulating what the exact safety issues are.”
Executive Deputy Director at the State Canal Corporation John Callaghan says they’ve kept in touch with groups who have concerns over the work, as well as town supervisors.
He also says the need to address these weakened embankments is vital to nearby areas.
“A sudden failure of an embankment in this area, especially where the embankments are well elevated around the surrounding landscape could be catastrophic.”
The emergency repairs are being done in Ogden and Perinton in order to stabilize embankments in time for the 2018 season, and are not related to the ongoing embankment repairs.
In Ogden a small number of trees will be removed to gain access to the embankment. No trees will be removed in Perinton.
The Corporation will be steel sheeting these sections for stability.