Canal System in New York State

Considered an engineering marvel when it was completed in 1825, the 525-mile long New York State Canal System links the waters of Lake Erie in the west to the Hudson River in the east. Today the barge canal system can accommodate vessels up to 2,000 tons but is primarily used for recreational purposes and serves as a method of controlling floods. McLaren Engineering Group is helping keep this National Historic Landmark alive by providing underwater inspections, mechanical and electrical inspections, load rating analysis and hydrographic surveying along the canal system’s Eastern Division including the Fort Edward (on the Champlain Canal), Waterford, Fonda and Utica sections.

McLaren inspected each structure and then prepared reports in accordance with the New York State Canal Corporation Canal Structure Inspection Manual (NYSCC CSIM). These reports included above water and underwater photo documentation, field sketches, summaries of findings and repair recommendations. The types of structures inspected include locks, guard gates, guide structures, movable dams, tainter gates, sluice gates, spillways, terminals, slips and culverts. This critical data is then utilized to maintain and preserve, as some may call it, the Eighth Wonder of the World.

The McLaren Difference: Applied Ingenuity

McLaren has worked closely with the NYS Canals Corporation team, providing experiential insight into the waterfront facility inspection and assessment standards happening country-wide. Aiding their management team in developing a holistic approach to structural maintenance and rehabilitation as well as their enhancement of existing inspection guidelines and reporting system.

McLaren’s inspection team incorporated advanced LIDAR and multibeam surveying technology into their inspection approach for the lock structures. These detailed scans provided the dive team valuable 3-D imaging data on areas of deterioration prior to even entering the water. This inspection stepped approach, allowed the dive team to more efficiently target the prominent deficiencies in the lock walls and floor, while performing the overall visual/tactile inspections of the lock components.