The Day Niagara Falls Went Dry

In 1965 a local newspaper editorial was published discussing the destruction of the American Falls (one of three waterfalls that together make up the Niagara Falls). It was believed that the destruction was being caused by previous rock debris that had gone over the falls and that the continued erosion would eventually lead to the American Falls’ destruction.
To address this concern, the International Joint Commission created a board called the American Falls International Board in 1967. After two years of deliberation on what to do, the Board appointed the task to the Albert Elia Construction Company of Niagara Falls, New York. Their job was to build a 183-meter cofferdam that stretched from mainland to Goat Island. This would block water to the falls so workers could clear the debris from the top of the falls.
Once complete, they would then remove the cofferdam and restore waterflow to the American Falls.


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