All of these efforts weren’t simply taking place to improve the way everything appeared on both sides of the falls. In fact, the main reasoning behind the project, especially according to the International Joint Commission, was to protect the falls, and the citizens surrounding them, from some possible future catastrophe.
Officials were concerned that erosion had made the rock wall destabilized, which could definitely cause some issues if left without resolution.
As authorities progressed with the plans for the American Falls, more questions started being raised as to how effective this entire method was even going to be. Some were worried about the differences in how much water would actually be coming over the falls.
After all, the plans were to make it look “more voluminous,” but at the same time, the gallons per second would be greatly reduced. Since this was the first time in history anything like this was being done (to this extent, anyways,) it was very much a learning curb for everyone involved.
Even as they solidified all of the how’s and why’s behind the scenes, there was still one major monument for workers to climb. Somehow, they had to make all of these extreme changes by working in one of the most dangerous areas possible. This wasn’t just any other day at the office, it was a near 200-ft face of rock.
This wouldn’t be an easy feat by any means, and you can imagine the stress that engineers were feeling. Eventually, however, they would find their footing (literally,) and jump start the project.
In November of 69’, they had to remove the cofferdams that they had put in not long ago. Engineers decided it was time to let the American Falls flow once again.
But the return to normal wouldn’t last for very long, since they would soon find themselves in another position that called for drying out the river once again. Locals bit their fingernails in anticipation as they wondered what would turn up beneath the waters this time.
Niagara Falls was an extremely popular area, not only for tourists, but for all of the hoteliers, and industrialists who wanted to wield the hydroelectric power for their businesses. And by the middle of the 1830’s, most of the land in the American area of the falls had been bought by private owners and fenced off.
Already, the area was shaping out to be a tourist trap, much to the dismay of those who wanted to see it retain its natural beauty and allure.