Augusta Canal to get repairs

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As it approaches its 163rd birthday, the popular Augusta Canal is showing its age.

"It's actually an amazing structure for being that old, but it does leak a little -- as all dams do," said Drew Goins, the city's assistant utilities director for water production.

Later this year, work will commence on a long-range plan to shore up thinning backslopes, correct seepages, remove trees and repair animal burrows and collapsing stream banks along the seven-mile waterway built in 1845.

The price tag -- estimated at $735,000 -- will include corrective action at four "seepage areas," where the canal backslope facing the Savannah River is leaking small amounts of water.

"When the canal was built, they had very little technology for compacting soils, so they overcame it with bulk," Mr. Goins said, noting that the canal banks were created with soil excavated from the channel. "That was the standard engineering practice at that time."

Last year, a detailed study of the canal was conducted on the city's behalf by Cranston Engineering Group, which identified the main areas that will need attention.

In addition to four seepage areas, inspectors found more than 250 penetrations along the canal caused by erosion and animal burrows, of which 34 were deemed "significant." None of the problems were deemed a threat to public safety.

The most intrusive repairs will involve stabilizing backslope areas above the Waterworks Pumping Station, where the original grade was narrower than most of the canal banks. Additional fill might be required and trees will be removed from that area.

Although the canal is popular with visitors to the National Heritage Area towpath, it remains a working industrial structure that provides most of Augusta's drinking water, in addition to hydropower for industry.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119 or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.

Recommendations


- Pre-emptively remove dead trees, those leaning at angles greater than 45 degrees from the backslope of the canal levee banks.


- Design and implement permanent repairs to areas where seepage has occurred, including bank stability construction and removal of trees in construction areas.


- Monitor undercuts in the canal channel until the next scheduled drainage, then make detailed observations and initiate repair plans.


- Stockpile 4,000 cubic yards of clay and soil in the canal vicinity in case it is needed for emergency repairs or stabilization.


- Arrange a permanent, ongoing inspection program with more frequent visits to areas known to have problems with trees, slope stability, animal burrows and seepage.


- Consider increasing emergency spillway capacity by completing an unfinished spillway begun in the 1920s.


Source: Augusta Utilities Department

Comments (12)

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Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 03/20/08 - 06:21 am
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It's about time dammit!

It's about time dammit! Former Commissioner Andy Cheek can be thanked a lot for this. He has been pushing to have these repairs done for years and was instrumental in getting the study funded.

BakersfieldCityLimits
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BakersfieldCityLimits 03/20/08 - 06:37 am
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735,000!!!! Funny they can

735,000!!!! Funny they can find money to fix the canal, but the rec center where we play ball has no nets. Funny how that works.

rbk
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rbk 03/20/08 - 06:45 am
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Perhaps the canal benefits

Perhaps the canal benefits more people than the select few the rec center benefits.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 03/20/08 - 06:52 am
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Let's see, was the rec center

Let's see, was the rec center built to lessen the chance of flooding? or generate power for industries located alongside it?
Is the rec center a public safety issue? Hmm D1216 I think you may wish to realign your priorities!

gijoe7898
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gijoe7898 03/20/08 - 07:15 am
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I've put up a few basketball

I've put up a few basketball nets on my own b4. only a few bucks a pop. It's nice to see some probs get fixed b4 they turn into major ones costing millions and disrupting the water supply.

iletuknow
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iletuknow 03/20/08 - 09:45 am
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All ghettos have basketball

All ghettos have basketball "rec centers" The canal area is a real treasure and should be priority one.

bnanny57cents
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bnanny57cents 03/20/08 - 10:04 am
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I don't think you should be

I don't think you should be commenting about "ghettos" and rec centers. The idea behind these places are good, get kids off the streets so they don't murder people at 12 years of age like the boy last night. Ridiculous. Anyway, I doubt most of these rec centers are actually keeping kids from committing crimes; they just do their dirty deeds on the courts or in the alleys behind the buildings. But, still, the way you put your comment is kind of offensive...

What4
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What4 03/20/08 - 10:07 am
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Ever wonder what happens to

Ever wonder what happens to the new nets that get put up?? That's why you play with no nets!! Nets were not put there so you could hang around after your shot.

thistownisunbelievable
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thistownisunbelievable 03/20/08 - 10:35 am
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Focus. The canal. Focus.

Focus. The canal. Focus.

Waymore
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Waymore 03/20/08 - 10:39 am
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Hey, D1216...Keep playing

Hey, D1216...Keep playing ball at the rec center. Maybe KU will offer you a scholarship.

MartinezWest Augusta
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MartinezWest Augusta 03/20/08 - 02:45 pm
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Its funny how everything in

Its funny how everything in augusta always goes back to racism. Branny57cents, and iletuknow. There are no rec centers in the suburbs what is patriots park then. I GUESS THE KIDS OUT THERE DO their dirty deeds on the courts or in the alley behind the building. And i just wondering how you think the 12 year old is from the ghetto. Did you live beside him in the projects branny57cents. Was he your next door neighboor in the hood or something. I just wondering how you came up with he is from the ghetto is all.

raymikematt
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raymikematt 03/20/08 - 10:07 pm
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When did this become a racial

When did this become a racial issue jonnneee? It is statements like this that stir things up!

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