Canal will open about 3 weeks later this year, and close about 6 weeks earlier

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2017 at 10:14 am

No fees or tolls for recreational boaters in 2017

File photo by Tom Rivers: The Tug Syracuse is pictured on the canal in Hulberton on Aug. 21, 2014.

The Erie Canal will open about three weeks later than it did in 2016, according to a schedule announced by the State Canal Corp. on Tuesday.

The canal system will open on May 19 and continue until Oct. 11. Last year, the canal opened on April 27, its earliest opening day since 1982. A mild winter last year allowed staff to complete maintenance projects and get ready for the canal’s opening ahead of schedule.

The canal last year was open for boaters until Nov. 20. This year, it will close about six weeks earlier.

This year will be the first since the canal’s ownership was moved from the State Thruway Authority to the New York Power Authority. The Thruway Authority ran the canal system since 1992.

This year also marks the beginning of an eight-year bicentennial of the canal’s construction, which started in 1817 and was completed in 1825. In honor of the beginning of the 200th anniversary celebration, there will be no fees or tolls for recreational boaters in 2017.

The hours of operation for the 2017 season are as follows: May 19 to October 11: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In addition to the boating schedule, the seven lift bridges in Orleans County will operate on demand from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from May 19 to September 13. Vessels are required to arrive at a lock at least 15 minutes prior to closing to ensure being locked through, and at a bridge at least 5 minutes prior to ensure an opening, the Canal Corporation said.

Return to top