Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — ALBION – One hundred eight feet of replacement pipe arrived on site today to repair a damaged culvert that resulted in a partial collapse of the embankment of the Erie Canal in Orleans County, the New York State Canal Corporation announced.
Extensive damage has been found in a large culvert pipe under the Erie Canal in Albion requiring a replacement of much of the pipe.
A 25-mile-long section of the western Erie Canal remains closed to navigation between Middleport in Niagara County and Holley in Orleans County. Canal Corporation Spokesman R.W. Groneman said the section of the canal between Medina and Albion will will dry during the repairs to allow for any rain water accumulating in the drained Albion-Holley section to be removed.
The culvert pipe is located nine feet below the bottom of the Canal. To complete the excavation, the Canal in this area had to be completely drained, and the soil stabilized for the safety of the workers.
Crews will continue to work around the clock, seven days a weak to repair the damage and to get the Canal reopened to navigation, Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton said.
“Due to the quick response of Canal personnel and our contractor on the night of July 30 we were able to avoid any injury or serious damage to property,” Stratton said. “Our priority now is to expedite repairs so this vital section of the Erie Canal can be re-watered to serve our boating, agricultural, and hydro-electric power generation stakeholders.”
Work to replace the damaged section of the culvert pipe has been ongoing. The contractor is C.P. Ward Inc. of Scottsville.
After the replacement is completed the area on either side of the pipe will be sealed using sheet piling driven into the ground. The south embankment in the vicinity of the failure will be rebuilt later in the week.
The Canal could be re-opened in about one week, but Groneman cautioned that the speed of the repair work is weather dependent.
Albion-Eagle Harbor Road remains closed between Gaines Basin Road and State Street, in the vicinity of the failure.