Faulty canal wall poses danger

B y PJ Ferguson

The failing canal wall situation that has closed North Williams Street indefinitely is not getting better anytime soon.

“I view this as an emergency situation,” declared Mayor Phil Smith.

A damning engineering report by the New York State Canal Corporation recommended that the section of the wall be completely replaced before the village re-opens the street. Furthermore, it concluded that the wall has been slowly leaning for a number of years and that the drainage behind the wall must be improved as well before normal street activity resumes.

While the Canal Corporation has already set up a paved dam diverting runoff from the dislodged area, the report instructed the village to remove snow quickly from the area, causing confusion during last Tuesday’s village board meeting.

“How do we follow that directive?” asked village attorney Erika Sellar Ryan, with the board agreeing that it would be difficult for village employees to plow the road if it is closed with workers having to move the barricades every time they need to plow the area. Smith announced that he would follow-up with the Canal Corporation, which he praised as “very cooperative,” to see what they suggest for that instruction.


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