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Summer '13

From the President

By David G. Barber


There is both good news and bad news on the canal front. First, the bad news. Eastern upstate New York as well as Vermont has been receiving huge amounts of rain. As a result, flood conditions exist on the eastern Erie Canal and the waterway is closed east of Syracuse. As of this writing, the extent of damage is unknown and won’t be until the floods recede. This is the same area that was hit hard by Hurricane Irene two years ago. Vermont has also been badly impacted by rain and Lake Champlain is at near flood stage. That’s unusual for this time of year. What the effect is on the Champlain Canal is unknown to me.


But, there is also good news. On the Delaware and Hudson Canal, Cliff Robinson has been leading a team of volunteers opening up the towpath between Cuddebackville and Westbrookville and beyond. Recently, they erected a 66 foot long by 5 foot wide fiberglass bridge over a towpath gap just north of Port Orange Road. Such bridges are custom designed and fabricated, but they can be assembled by volunteers with hand tools. The cost was about $50,000 with engineering, surveying, footings, shipping and the bridge pieces. An end view of the bridge is attached. I hope to get more photos when I travel through the area next. The group continues to work on the towpath and on a parking area at Westbrookville.

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