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The feature we are calling "Meander Area C" is located some three thousand feet east of the State Thruway bridge, and is so minor a meander, and so disturbed by construction impacts and natural processes, that it might easily escape detection. One needs to look really closely, even on early air photos, to see it.
Unlike areas A and B, this feature was not cut through in the 1950s by the Thruway's river realignment project, but was cut through a half century earlier by the Barge Canal's river realignment project. Because the canal itself was about to cut through a large meander of the original river to the north, a new channel had to be cut to keep the river connected. This channel went through the old river, plus both arms of the ox-bow of this meander loop, which had been cut through a very long time previous to the construction.
From examination of the geomorphology of this feature, it was hypothesized that a very great time ago, perhaps in prehistoric times, the river flowed past this loop in the dry remnant channel immediately west of the channel which today still holds water. At this time the western arm of the meander was as it appears today, while the eastern arm of the meander was in the more easterly channel, still visible.
It is supposed that by the beginning of the 18th century, this eastern arm of the meander had migrated westward to where it nearly joined the western arm, and at that time, it presented to navigators an obvious candidate for an easy cut-through channel.
It is further suggested that after the meander was cut off, the active part of the river continued to migrate, with the channel moving easterly toward the ox-bow from the west. This movement, we suggest, was deactivated by the cutting through of both the Barge Canal to the north, and the realignment channel to the south, thus stabilizing the feature in its present configuration.
Here then, by all the evidence, is the site of the 1730 "Neck" - New York State's first "canal". You can examine the documentation for yourself, and come to your own conclusions about it, by following the link below to the full text of the report.Home
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