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Plans to replace two 115-year-old pedestrian bridges could leave the American Falls dry for up to nine months while water from the Niagara River is diverted over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. US Army Engineers once before shut off flow to the American side to examine the stability of the area. New York State Parks officials says it won’t happen before 2019 and all funding is in place.

The American Falls were turned off from June to November, 1969 to allow geologists to study deterioration of rock surface under falls. Tourists gather to see the remaining trickle of water. (Niagara Falls NY Public Library)

Engineers examined the dry rock face from a wire basket hanging from a crane on June 18, 1969. (Rudy Platiel/The Globe and Mail)

An engineer stands at the bottom of the dry falls. The NY State observation tower is seen at left. (Niagara Falls NY Public Library)

An aerial photo shows the Niagara River (top) and the dry riverbed between Niagara Falls, NY and Goat Island. (Niagara Falls NY Public Library)

A different aerial view shows a boat on the Niagara River below the dry American Falls. (Niagara Falls NY Public Library)

The Canadian Horseshoe Falls returned to its normal flow after the dam was removed and water again flowed over the American Falls. (Barrie Davis/The Globe and Mail)