Surveying at the Brink of the Falls

“What job can you go to every day that has a rainbow?” comments Rich Johnson.  Rich, Crew Chief for Wendel’s survey team, is performing survey work on Luna Island, a small island nestled between the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in Niagara Falls, NY.  Wendel is responsible for the survey work for the reconstruction of the pathways and rock walls that will make the island a more attractive and natural site.  Rich also travels to the stone quarry to lay out the rock walls to ensure the stone is cut exactly to fit. Wendel did the initial survey of the island in 2007 and is now working on the construction end of the project providing control, layout and recording and mapping as-built locations.  

“Working two to three feet from the edge of the rushing water is exciting,” says Rich, but the harness and tether give him the security he needs to focus on his work.  “This job has a lot of safety challenges – anyone working within fifteen feet of the water’s edge needs to wear the harness and tether.”  Mac Russell, graphic artist and photographer for Wendel, stood a respectful distance as he captured these photos of Rich as he surveyed near the edge of the Falls.

“I’ve been on this project for two months and we’ll have an active role through next year,” says Rich.  However, when asked if we could get some photos of the island when it ices over this winter, Rich and Mac said they would “take a rain check.”

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