Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Schenectady in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Movable Dam at Lock 8

Schenectady/ Erie Canalway Trail

 
 
The Movable Dam at Lock 8 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 3, 2019
1. The Movable Dam at Lock 8 Marker
Inscription.  Work began here in Rotterdam in 1908 on Erie Barge Canal Lock 8. In addition to constructing Lock 8, engineers built a three-span moveable dam (about 510 feet wide) that raises boats heading upstream as much as 15 feet when the dam is activated. Many people mistake the dam for a bridge, (which it is not) but a walkway that allows for necessary maintenance. Beneath the dam's trusses are steel frames each containing a giant steel plate. Below the dam's base, a concrete sill constructed on the river bed spans the river's width. When these frames are swung open and lowered by chains onto the sill, they form a dam. Dam gates can be adjusted up or down almost like window shades, to control the volume of water and its rate of flow. Raising or lowering the dam must be carefully coordinated with the lock operators downstream to prevent the release of too much water which might flood the river bank banks. Therefore, lock gates downstream must all be raised or lowered accordingly
During the winter when the Canal is not operational, the dam's steel structures are lifted completely clear of the water allowing the river to resume its natural flow.
 
Erected by
The Movable Dam at Lock 8 image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 3, 2019
2. The Movable Dam at Lock 8
Schenectady County/New York Canals.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie Canal marker series.
 
Location. 42° 49.701′ N, 73° 59.464′ W. Marker is in Schenectady, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker can be reached from Rice Road. Touch for map. Marker is on bike path just 50 yards to the east of the parking lot at Lock 8. The lot is at the end of Rice Road. Marker is in this post office area: Schenectady NY 12306, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Enlarged Lock 23 (approx. half a mile away); Enlarged Erie Canal Lock 23 (approx. half a mile away); Bradt House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Maalwyck (approx. ¾ mile away); Robert Allen Deitcher (approx. 0.9 miles away); Vedder Family Cemetery (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Camp (approx. 1½ miles away); In Commemoration (approx. 1.6 miles away).
 
Regarding The Movable Dam at Lock 8. This system nearly came apart in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene dumped 12 inches of rain on Greene County (where the source of Schoharie Creek lies). There wasn't enough time to raise the gates, and water levels rose so high that water started flowing around the dams. Dams 11-7 nearly failed and NYC was on flood alert. The wide open area on the far side of the river here at Lock 8 resulted from emergency
Ice Jams in front of Lock 8 image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 3, 2019
3. Ice Jams in front of Lock 8
reconstruction work.
Fortunately, they were ready when Hurricane Sandy struck the next year.
 
Also see . . .  Hurricane Irene and the Canal. (Submitted on March 3, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
More. Search the internet for The Movable Dam at Lock 8.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 3, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 3, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending Amazon.com advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.