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Severe flood damage closes Ogdensburg’s Maple City Trail until further notice

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OGDENSBURG — Flooding has turned sections of the Maple City Trail into a tangled mess of asphalt, concrete and ripped up earth.

As the Oswegatchie River begins to recede after nearly two weeks of flooding, Ogdensburg officials are starting to survey the trail’s damage, and said Tuesday that a long road of repairs lies ahead.

City Department of Public Works Supervisor Gregg E. Harland said it’s too early to have an estimate for how much it will cost to make repairs, but work needed will include filling in eroded ground, fixing the concrete retaining wall and repaving a large section of the trail.

The most severely affected part of the trail is located between the Lake Street pedestrian bridge and the pump house. City Manager John M. Pinkerton said that section will remained closed to the public until the city can repair it.

“It’s going to be a while,” he said. “This is nothing to mess with.”

Mr. Pinkerton said parts of the trail that look untouched still may be dangerous due to erosion of the underlying ground. People walking on the trail “could easily slide into the river,” he said.

Mr. Harland said that with the water levels still too high for a real inspection, his department can’t tell how much of the concrete retaining wall has been damaged. In some places, the wall is clearly warped.

Currently the trail between the pedestrian bridge and the pump house is closed off until further notice, and city police are patrolling the area to ticket trespassers.

The trail has been closed due to safety concerns since the weekend of April 12. Police have been ticketing trespassers since April 15.

Mr. Pinkerton said the city will look for state and federal grant funding to help repair the trail as soon as officials can ascertain the extent of the damage.

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