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WOODHULL AND NORTH LAKE RESERVOIR DAMS

Image of Woodhull and Northlake Project Location

Woodhull and North Lake Reservoirs are owned by the New York State Canal Corporation. Built in the mid to late 1800’s as a primary water source to the Blac River Canal and Erie Canal, the reservoirs are now primarily used for recreation. The Canal Corporation is beginning the process of collecting data at both dams to inform projects under development to improve their condition. The first phase involves work that stakeholders may notice on and around the reservoirs. This website is intended to provide information and updates through completion of both projects.

WOODHULL RESERVOIR OVERIVEW PDF

WOODHULL RESERVOIR FAQ

Q: WHAT IS THE WOODHULL RESERVOIR DAM??

A: Woodhull Dam contains Woodhull Reservoir, a manmade 19,900 acre lake in Herkimer County built in 1853 to provide water to the Black River and Erie Canals, though it no longer serves that purpose. It is now used for local recreation. The dam for the reservoir is owned and operated by the New York State Canal Corporation.

Q: ARE THERE ISSUES POTENTIALLY AFFECTING ITS SAFETY?

A: The dam is classified by the state Department of Environmental Conservation as a high-hazard structure. That means communities downstream from the dam would likely suffer severe damage or loss of life if the dam failed. The hazard classification does not indicate the likelihood of a failure: even a brand-new dam can be classified as high hazard. While there is no imminent danger of failure, extensive repairs are needed to ensure long-term safety and integrity of the dam and its structural components.

Q: WHAT KINDS OF REPAIRS NEED TO BE DONE?

A: Phase 1 work includes tree removal at the dam and spillway, geotechnical borings completed to collect soil data and the installation of piezometers to check ground and soil characteristics, an underwater dive inspection to determine the condition of the outlet pipes, valve house stabilization, and seepage repairs at the outboard embankment toe of slope areas. An engineering assessment will also be completed to determine what additional repairs need to be completed in Phase 2 work. In order to minimize safety risks while repairs are being done, water levels on the reservoir may need to be lowered during the Phase 2 work. The Canal Corporation will provide plenty of advance notice to the public, including those who reside on the reservoir, to ensure there is adequate time to plan for potentially lowered water levels.

Q: HOW WILL THE PROJECT AFFECT PEOPLE WHO USE THE RESERVOIR TO FISH OR GO BOATING?

A: The Canal Corporation recognizes that many people use the reservoir during the summer months for recreation. Accordingly, repairs will begin after Labor Day for Phase 1 work in 2022 and after Labor Day for Phase 2 work in 2023.

Q: HOW LONG WILL THE PROJECT TAKE TO COMPLETE?

A: The Canal Corporation expects Phase 1 work to take 3-4 months to complete. The time to complete Phase 2 is unknown at this time until the Engineering Assessment is completed.

Q: HOW CAN I GET UPDATES ABOUT THE PROJECT?

A: The Canal Corporation will post regular updates about the project’s progress on its website and on social media channels, including Facebook, www.facebook.com/nycanals, and Twitter, @NYSCanalCorp .

Q: WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?

A: Contact Michael Sullivan at Michael.Sullivan@canals.ny.gov or (518) 424-3447.

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NORTH LAKE RESERVOIR OVERVIEW PDF

NORTH LAKE RESERVOIR FAQ

Q: WHAT IS THE NORTH LAKE RESERVOIR DAM?

North Lake Reservoir is a manmade 8,400-acre lake in Herkimer County built in 1880 to provide water to the Black River and Erie Canals, though it no longer serves that purpose. It is now used for local recreation and is contained by three dams located on South Lake Road. The dam for the reservoir is owned and operated by the New York State Canal Corporation.

Q: ARE THERE ISSUES POTENTIALLY AFFECTING ITS SAFETY?

A: The dam is classified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as a high-hazard structure. That means communities downstream from the dam would likely suffer severe damage or loss of life if the dam failed. The hazard classification does not indicate the likelihood of a failure: even a brand-new dam can be classified as high hazard. While there is no imminent danger of failure, extensive repairs are needed to ensure long-term safety and integrity of the dam and its structural components.

Q: WHAT KINDS OF REPAIRS NEED TO BE DONE?

A: Phase 1 work includes tree removal at the 3 dams, geotechnical borings completed to collect soil data and the installation of piezometers to check ground and soil characteristics, and an underwater dive inspection to determine the condition of the outlet pipes and valve house well foundation. An engineering assessment will also be completed to determine what additional repairs need to be completed in Phase 2 work. In order to minimize safety risks while repairs are being done, water levels on the reservoir may need to be lowered during the Phase 2 work. The Canal Corporation will provide plenty of advance notice to the public, including those who reside on the reservoir, to ensure there is adequate time to plan for potentially lowered water levels.

Q: HOW WILL THE PROJECT AFFECT PEOPLE WHO USE THE RESERVOIR TO FISH OR GO BOATING?

The Canal Corporation recognizes that many people use the reservoir during the summer months for recreation. Accordingly, repairs will begin after Labor Day for Phase 1 work in 2022 and after Labor Day for Phase 2 work in 2023.

Q: HOW LONG WILL THE PROJECT TAKE TO COMPLETE?

A: The Canal Corporation expects Phase 1 work to take 3-4 months to complete. The time to complete Phase 2 is unknown at this time until the Engineering Assessment is completed.

Q: HOW CAN I GET UPDATES ABOUT THE PROJECT?

A: The Canal Corporation will post regular updates about the project’s progress on its website and on social media channels, including Facebook, www.facebook.com/nycanals, and Twitter, @NYSCanalCorp .

WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?

A: Contact Michael Sullivan at Michael.Sullivan@canals.ny.gov or (518) 424-3447.

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WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?

Contact Michael Sullivan at Michael.Sullivan@canals.ny.gov

phone: (518) 424-3447.