American Side of Niagara Falls Will Likely Be Completely Dry Within Three Years

January 24, 2016 Updated: January 24, 2016

The United States side of Niagara Falls will be completely dry within three years, according to a new “dewatering” plan.

The New York State parks system will present three versions of a plan to replace two 115-year-old stone arch bridges that enable pedestrians, workers, and park vehicles to access Goat Island.

The versions will be presented on January 26 at the Niagara Falls Conference Center, with two of the three plans including a temporary shutdown of the American falls.

The “dewatering” last happened in 1969, enabling scientists to study the effects of erosion and buildup of rock at the base of the falls.

People came from all over the world to see the falls turned off, said former Niagara Falls city historian Michelle Kratts. 

(Niagara Falls Public Library)
(Niagara Falls Public Library)

 

“It’s the nature of curiosity. You want to see what’s underneath, to see its skeleton,” Kratts told Buffalo News.

Workers back then found two bodies, millions of coins, and a number of military artifacts, among other curiosities. 

The proposals are needed because the two stone arch bridges–one from the mainland to Green Island and the other from Green Island to Goat Island–are deteriorating, even after being stabilized in 2004 after one of the bases collapsed. 

One proposal calls for diverting water from the American Falls for five months; another calls for diverting it for nine months; while a third plan would not divert water from the falls “but it has been effectively eliminated from consideration because it is too costly and would take three years to complete.”

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