A pontoon excavator has been mobilized to complete the
excavation activities at the Braddock Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project,
Greece, NY. The excavator arrived on Monday February 29 after a week in transit
from Harvey, LA.
The Wesson Group leased the excavator from Wilco Marsh
Buggies & Draglines, Inc. after it was determined that unseasonably warm
weather and wet conditions would prevent the continued use of tracked excavators.
The lake levels are average for this time of year; however, lack of ground
frost and wet weather conditions make working from land nearly impossible.
The pontoon excavator will be completing the remaining
potholing activities; this type of work requires less precision than channeling
activities, which were completed using tracked excavators. To date,
approximately 80% of the potholing activities have been completed.
The pontoon excavator is expected to complete the
excavation activities by March 15th. Seeding of exposed soils will
begin this week.
“The game-time decision to bring in a pontoon excavator
was the right move,” says Restoration Ecologist Josh Unghire. “It will allow us
to finish the full scope of channeling and potholing this season, so that the
full area of potential habitat is available for fish spawning and wildlife in
the spring and summer.”
The conventional tracked excavators, which just wrapped up
the precise work of constructing narrow, sinuous channels were aided by a new
GPS technology that provides the bucket operator and construction supervisors with
real-time updates and pinpoint accurate readings on bucket depth and location.
Following excavation and seeding activities, construction of
the barrier beach will commence. This construction activity, and the progress
of the wetland vegetation, will be monitored through the use of a time-lapse
field camera with a 30-second interval.
“Completion of this project phase is instrumental to the
delisting of Braddock Bay from the Rochester Area of Concern (AOC). I am
pleased that, despite unseasonably warm weather, we will be able to complete
excavation of the channels and potholes by mid-March,” says Project Manager
The Braddock Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project is the result
of an interagency partnership between the USACE Buffalo District and the USEPA.
Project partners that have been key drivers of this project include the Town of
Greece, NYSDEC, and the Rochester Embayment Remedial Action Plan Oversight