If you've ever been to the falls at Bleachery Pond (between Sixth Avenue and Cedar Avenue), you know about the brush. It's kind of wild down there. And, fact is, that's part of the appeal.
But the wildness wasn't so appealing to the folks at Public Works tasked with cleaning the sewer line there. So they have taken to clearing out the brush, making way for the trucks necessary to get the sewer cleaning job done.
To a few of us, it was an alarming transformation.
What was going on? At first, I thought the Department of Environmental Management might be responsible. The dam that makes the falls is listed as a "high hazard" at DEM and has been for years, so I thought perhaps they were going to work on it and needed access.
But someone told me the Department of Transportation would be the ones to talk to if a road was involved. So I tried them first. They told me to try the town.
Sometimes you should start at the beginning – sure enough, Joe Duarte at Public Works said Thursday wastewater treatment personnel were clearing the brush.
"We have a main sewer line along the embankment there," Duarte said. "That section hasn't been touched for years. They need to clear that in case there's an emergency. It's a main interceptor line."
He acknowledged the clearing was something of a shock.
"This is unfortunately a bigger clearing than we've seen for years," he said. "This is probably the longest and most encrouched area."
A visit to the area Thursday showed several manhole covers previously unnoticed by this reporter. The work is not done, Duarte said. It will take another couple weeks, he said. The "road" begins at the end of Second Street, south of Sixth Avenue. It will extend to near Shoreside Apartments.
One positive to come out of this: less poison ivy.