Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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Park Commission says it will fix sharp edge buoys in LG’s Sandy Bay

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

A Chronicle reader’s alert is prompting a fix of some dangerously sharp metal strands holding mooring buoys in place at Sandy Bay on Lake George’s east side.

“As your story indicated, there were issues,” Roger Smith, operations supervisor for the Lake George Park Commission, tells The Chronicle.

He said, “The plan is to work with the Department of Environmental Conservation to inspect and locate and remedy the buoys in Sandy Bay that need repairing.”

“There’s no question it’s a hazard,” Mr. Smith said. “When DEC pulls the buoys on Columbus Day weekend, we’ll check them and repair them if needed.”

He said a ferrule will be pressed onto the cable using a swage tool, where needed to eliminate exposed sharp edges of strand.

The Lake George Park Commission uses a swage tool (larger photo) to clamp steel ferrules onto exposed sharp ends of cables (inset photo by Fred Fibiger) holding Sandy Hill buoys in place.

Reader Fred Fibiger of Glens Falls contacted The Chronicle about the peril, even providing photos, leading to the story in our Aug. 24 issue.

Sandy Bay is shallow and attracts swimmers and boaters who can walk in the water and might come into contact with the cable ends underneath the mooring buoys.

Mr. Smith said that when he started at the Park Commission in 1993, 55-60 buoys had been in place for three years.

“There were anchors with steel reinforced loops embedded in the concrete, and a chain,” he said. By 1999, “the chains started falling apart,” so those broken chains were repaired or replaced.

In 2006, “we got down to under 35 buoys, and people started complaining. The hardware was wearing out. They were rusting. So we hired Dock Doctors out of Vermont, who came in with a crane boat and lifted the old blocks. The rebar loop had rotted off some of them, so they drove stainless steel wedge bolts into the concrete eyelets.”

The Park Commission then started thinking about longer-term solutions, Mr. Smith said. Cables had been damaged by propellers and “at the close of 2015, we were down to 32 buoys.”

Dock Doctors were called again, and last September spent two days repairing 35 buoys.

Mr. Smith said that now, when buoys are installed in the spring and removed in the fall, they plan to inspect them and repair any sharp frayed ends of the steel cables.

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