STGorman  Mar.07.2016

No need to peer thru fences anymore......the trail in Yonkers will open soon!

The Information:
Meaningful progress was made on emergency repairs to the historic OCA retaining wall that collapsed in Yonkers on March 11, 2015. The event dislocated about 110 residents of 95-97 Walsh Rd and closed a 1/3 mile section of the trail indefinitely.

The Legislation:
On March 31, 2015, NY governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 143, declaring a 'disaster emergency' in the City of Yonkers, thereby "suspending statutory and regulatory provisions relating to State contracts and the repair of State facilities". In plain english, this act allowed the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the State Office of General Services to expedite the award of contracts to initiate design work and perform critical repairs to the wall. It effectively bypassed some of the established processes/permitting/code standards required for landmarks to allow emergency repairs to be made.....a kind of 'statutory shortcut' to success. The order was extended twice (EO-145/EO-146), assuring ample time to arrive at the excellent resolution we can now all witness.

The Capitalization:
Financial support for the project was mostly sourced from NY State emergency funds. There may be additional funding sources, but these have not been ascertained as of this writing.

The Execution:
Our own 'great' wall is a variation on the 'post-and-pile' style of retaining wall, with the added feature of textured precast sections made to resemble mortared stone. The original historic walls were mostly dry-laid granite with a 5-10 degree 'batter' (or slope) to give them stability. The new structure relies on steel columns anchored in concrete piers below grade for strength. An array of catch basins and drainage wells will assure that rain water run-off will never undermine the structure. Construction was executed by Moretrench, a national leader in excavation, earthworks, and construction (with offices in Yonkers!).
In a happy side note, the 165 year old aqueduct itself was neither breached, battered, broken, nor even bloodied.

The Gratification:
We were happy and thankful to discover that this section of trail will be open again soon....and accessible just in time for the annual OCA trail clean up in Yonkers, April 16. See posting: