Workers reroute Clinton River to stop erosion and save Palmer Hall

By Jake Feldman

Content Lead

photo by Jake Feldman

Construction workers from the City of Rochester Hills started cutting trees and moving dirt with bulldozers on Oct. 4 to reroute the Clinton River and try to stem the heavy erosion that has removed 20 yards of land and threatened the stability of Rochester University’s Palmer Hall.


Excavators spent the first two days clearing trees and stripping the land in order to reshape the landscape of the Clinton River Watershed running through Rochester Hills. The university, the city and the Clinton River Watershed Council have joined together to try to maintain the health and wellness of the river while also stabilizing the grounds and facilities on campus.

Jaymes Vettraino, assistant professor of business and director of the Center for Social Engagement, is helping oversee the project. He says students, staff and faculty should take note of a few issues to stay safe and informed:

  1. This is a fluidly changing situation. This situation has moved quickly and is changing as many different parties are involved. More updates will be coming as plans unfold.

  2. Construction workers will be living in Barbier Hall during the construction project, so you will see workers parking and living on campus.

  3. Large construction equipment will be present on campus and on the Clinton River Trail. If you go back into Lake Norcentra Park, you will see a good number of excavators, bulldozers, and other pieces of heavy equipment. If you are looking for a quiet area, you may want to avoid the construction site. The roped-off section is dangerous to enter, so please avoid this area.

  4. With any large project, loud noises and chaos will occur. Large equipment will be working and backing up, chainsaws will be running, and trucks will be driving in and out. If you hear these noises, don't worry. It is a slight inconvenience, but it is important to remember that the workers are on a schedule and doing their jobs.

  5. As this situation develops, be on the lookout for updates, news and information coming from those in charge as it pertains to this major project.

Stay tuned to Shield Media to learn more about the Palmer project and what it means for the Rochester University community.



photo by Jake Feldman

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