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Blasting begins Wednesday near Lock 12

Explosives needed to break up concrete wall

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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Crews work at Erie Canal Lock 12 along the Mohawk River in Tribes Hill on Tuesday.
Crews work at Erie Canal Lock 12 along the Mohawk River in Tribes Hill on Tuesday.

— Contractors are calling for explosives to remove a massive concrete wall along the Mohawk River that was damaged in Tropical Storm Irene two years ago.

Wilton-based D.A. Collins Construction this week notified the Montgomery County Emergency Management Office blasting operations will begin Dec. 11 at Lock 12 of the Erie Canal.

Neither the lock nor the retractable dam — which carries County Route 27 over the river between Tribes Hill and Fort Hunter — will be affected by the work, according to the state Canal Corp.

The $8.1 million project involves removing 485 feet of approach walls, and 335 feet of the work will require the concrete to be broken into smaller pieces using explosives. Once broken up into smaller pieces, the segments will then be hauled away.

Queensbury-based Alpha Drilling and Blasting Inc. is drilling holes deep into the center of the walls for the placement of explosive charges. According to the Canal Corp., blasting mats will be placed over the sections to contain the explosions and the concrete debris they create.

The company told Montgomery County authorities they expect to conduct between one and six blasts daily. Audible warning signals will be sounded prior to detonations, but the detonations themselves are expected to be “quiet and uneventful,” according to the Canal Corp.

The walls will be replaced as part of the contract, and the project is expected to be done by June 2015.

 
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