New York officials may change the roar of Niagara Falls into a trickle to do some much needed repair to the concrete structures holding up a couple of bridges used by millions of visitors to the falls each year. The falls have been shut off only once so far in history and that was in 1969. Niagara Falls went dry for the first time so the erosion to the falls could be studied and to research the size of the rock pile that’s collected throughout history at the bottom of the iconic falls.
According to Fox News in Boston on January 25, the water would be shut off on the American side of the falls by redirecting the flow of water to the Canada side. Two bridges that are 115-years old are a pathway for millions of visitors, park vehicles and utilities to access Goat Island.
The bridges that were built back in 1901 have held up their end of the bargain, but after a century they are eroding and they are in dire need of repair, reports Spec News. Back in 2004 temporary truss bridges were put in place to allow access for visitors to cross over the falls, but these bridges still remain despite their temporary status. They hinder the view of the falls and they’re deemed unappealing. They stick out like a sore thumb in the surrounding scenery.
It sounds like this time the New York State officials want a permanent solution to a problem that isn’t going away. As with any other major project such as this, it is where the money will come from for the bridge repairs that presents the biggest hurdle. They not only need money for repairs, but to also build a wall to redirect the water flow so the falls will dry up while embarking on the restoration. The bridges are a piece of architectural history from the early 1900s and worth saving say the experts.
Back in 1969 when the falls were shut off for erosion research, you’d might think the tourism suffered. Who wants to come to the great falls to see where water used to flow?
Believe it or not people traveled from all over the world with the goal in mind to get a gander at the dried up Niagara Falls. While the falls weren’t turned off for a treasure hunt, thousands of coins were found and taken out in buckets. They also found two bodies when they stopped the water going over the falls in ’69. The pictures of Niagara Falls dried up can be seen above.
While turning off Niagara Falls won’t be something that will happen tomorrow, it could be a year or two away. Once the water is stopped it will need to remain that way for at least nine months to let the concrete on the bridges cure. Add that to the time needed to fix the bridges and they could be shut off for a year or two, depending on the extent of the restoration. That’s plenty of time to go on treasure hunts!