Hillslope Fix Underway on Stony Clove Creek

Posted on: April 15th, 2016 by Leslie_Zucker

A new stream project began in late March on the Stony Clove Creek near Wright Road in the Town of Hunter. The project is necessary to stabilize a large failing hillslope and ensure the success of last year’s channel restoration at the same location. Both projects should improve water quality by reducing the likelihood of sediment from the hillslope entering the Stony Clove and reaching the Esopus Creek.

Flooding during Tropical Storm Irene destabilized the Stony Clove Creek upstream and downstream of the Wright Road bridge. A stream restoration project was completed in 2015 to stabilize the channel and prevent future erosion.

The project treated 2,675 feet of the Stony Clove Creek. To halt erosion at the toe of the slope, the stream restoration project focused on adjusting the channel width and depth, along with creation of floodplain benches and grade control structures.

The project area included a large hillslope that showed signs of geotechnical failure, although not as advanced as downstream failures treated in 2013-14 near Chichester. Afterward, long-term monitoring of the hillslope began to track any future advancement of the failure.

New problems emerged as clay in the hillslope continued to cause sliding over the top or through the rock toe that now exists at the hillslope base. Engineers from the NRCS and engineering firm Milone & MacBroom, Inc. (MMI) evaluated options for moving forward and MMI prepared a design for repairing the hillslope. The design includes capturing and redirecting water that saturates the failure, as well as debris clearing and re-grading steep areas of the bank.

Trees are felled for clearing on a failing hillslope bordering the Stony Clove Creek near Lanesville, NY. The slope will be graded and drainage installed to prevent erosion and improve water quality in the upper Esopus Creek watershed.

Trees are felled for clearing on a failing hillslope bordering the Stony Clove Creek near Lanesville, NY. The slope will be graded and drainage installed to prevent erosion and improve water quality in the upper Esopus Creek watershed.

Construction at the site began in late March and is expected to run through August 2016. Kingston Equipment Rental, Inc. (Baker Brothers Excavating) out of West Hurley was the contractor for last year’s stream work and will continue with the hillslope stabilization project. The Ulster County SWCD is providing overall project management.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has agreed to fund 75% of the project costs associated with stabilizing the hillslope. The remaining 25% local will be paid by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and administered by the Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD).  The Town of Hunter is the project sponsor.

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