Kemp Mill Project 2013


Anne Ambler
March 15, 2013
Update
Mar 19, 2013
Update
Mar 20, 2013
Update
Mar 22, 2013
Update
May 2, 2013


Have you seen this blockade and wondered what was going on?


In two places the trail over the sewer line near the Kemp Mill trailhead fell away so much from the gushing water of Super Storm Sandy that the sewer trunk line risks being exposed. The Department of Parks has begun remediation currently scheduled to take until June 1.


The first job is to reroute the NWB around the area. For this they have brought in many lengths of pipe and a lot of sandbags.


The heavy trucks bringing in all that pipe, sandbags, and other equipment have churned up the gravel trail pretty badly.


Large green pumps will pump the stream up and over so that the stream bed will be dry. Then boulders, not yet on site, will be placed along the bank and "locked in." The work area includes the spot where our Stream Monitoring Team has been counting macro-invertebrates quarterly. The team will have to choose another site.


Downstream, where the pipes will disgorge, the crew struggles to remove wire fencing that has caught a lot of leaves.


In the end, it was wire cutters to the rescue and bare hands in that cold water! A bit later they passed me with the rolled up fencing in pieces on their shoulders.


In addition to armoring the banks to protect the sewer line, the job entails fixing the foot bridge footings. As of these pictures, March 15, the bridge is unchanged, but that log jam just downstream, the subject of two NNWB cleanups, has been removed. Now the NWB flows free--at least at that point. It is free to hit the boulders visible at the next bend in the stream, an earlier effort to stem erosion.

The current plan is for the trail to remain open with just a little detour while the work progresses, so check it out and appreciate the power of water--precious and essential to life, but highly destructive when channeled rather than soaking naturally into the soil and taken up by trees and other plants.

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Update by Anne Ambler
Mar 19, 2013

The signs about the history and geology of the Northwest Branch lie sadly beside the trailhead, replaced by a sanitary necessity.

Meanwhile, work proceeds to connect pumps to pipes.

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Update by Anne Ambler
Photos by Marianna Max
Mar 20, 2013

Two of the three pipelines are hooked to the pump (green, far right of picture) and working as of March 20, Wednesday.

The pipes go up the bank, overland about 100 yards, ->

and pour their contents back into the Northwest Branch. Once sandbags are in place, this will leave a de-watered stream bed in which the crew can work.

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