McMahon & Mann Consulting Engineering and Geology, P.C.

Schoelkopf Wall Evaluation

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Schoelkopf Wall Evaluation
Project Details
Location: Niagara Falls, New York
Client: DeLeuw Cather, Inc. for New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation OPRHP
Client Contact: Mr. George Creary, P.E. DeLeuw Cather 716-853-6940 Mr. Rolfe Steck, P.E. OPRHP 716-278-1718

Project Gallery

A masonry wall, about 100 feet high, is all that remains of the former Schoellkopf Power Plant. The plant collapsed suddenly over 40 years ago from a rock slide next to the plant. The New York State OPRHP operates the property and is evaluating the feasibility of opening the top of the wall as an observatory for the adjacent Niagara Gorge. McMahon & Mann assisted in this evaluation by:

  • Reviewing reports that describe events surrounding the rock slide and reports written at the time of the slide describing causes of the collapse,
  • Reviewing existing geologic data, information related to the character of the surrounding rock mass, stress regime and hydraulic conditions at the site,
  • Reviewing information related to existing conditions at the site including as-built details of the power plant, plans describing the extent of demolition and site restoration, and
  • Developing a program to evaluate the stability of the existing wall and adjacent rock mass, and for installation of inclinometers and piezometers to monitor the rock behavior behind the wall. 

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