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May 16, 2013


Adam Bosch (DEP) (845) 334-7868

Recreation Area Atop Kensico Dam Closed Temporarily While DEP Performs Routine Maintenance

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that beginning today the recreation area on top of Kensico Dam will be closed intermittently for several weeks while contractors remove weeds and fibrous plants from the face of the dam, which will also be re-grouted to ensure the spaces between the stones are sealed and secure. The roadway is used by local residents for walking, jogging, in-line skating and bicycling.

Over time, weeds and plants have grown in the joints between the stones on the face of the 307-foot-high dam. The weeds and plants must be removed because they can allow water to trickle into the concrete joints between the stones. That water can potentially damage the concrete joints and stone face when it freezes and expands. To remove the weeds and plants, DEP will have specialized crews rappel down the face of the dam and apply herbicide starting this week. Special care will be taken to ensure the herbicide does not enter the reservoir or negatively affect drinking water quality.

The herbicide must be applied while the weeds and plants are in bloom to kill the roots. Each application of the herbicide will take one to two weeks. The herbicide will be applied to the dam twice, with a week hiatus between each application. DEP will re-grout the spaces between the stones once the weeds and plants are removed.

The recreation area is expected to be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the weeks when herbicide is being applied. It will be reopened after 5 p.m. each day, and it will remain open during weekends and the weeklong hiatus between applications. The road will be barricaded and signs will be posted during the intermittent closures. Westchester County’s park below the dam will remain open, but a small portion of it immediately adjacent to the dam will be closed while the work is happening.

The recreation area atop Kensico Dam was reopened last year following a $42 million rehabilitation project at the dam, which is located in Westchester County, about 3 miles north of White Plains and 15 miles north of New York City.

DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.3 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed In addition to its $68 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600