Erie Canal re-watering to begin May 3

Photos by Tom Rivers: A contractor has rebuilt the wall for a waste weir behind Community Action of Orleans & Genesee in Albion. A waste weir is used to drain the Erie Canal. This waste weir was built in 1910 and sends water into the west branch of Sandy Creek. Cold Spring Construction of Akron worked throughout the winter on the $1.46 million project, which is scheduled for completion in July.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 April 2019 at 6:12 pm

ALBION – The New York State Canal Corporation will begin re-watering the Erie Canal on May 3. The canal will open for its navigational season on May 17.

The tolls for recreational vessels have once again been waived for 2019. The state started that in 2017 and the toll-free travel boosted canal traffic, the Canal Corp. said in December when it announced the tolls have been waived through 2021.

The tolls are usually $25 to $100, depending on the size of the boat. The tolls were waived in 2017 and 2018 to celebrate the Erie Canal bicentennial and the 100-year anniversary of the New York State Barge Canal, now known as the New York State Canal System.

Motorized pleasure boat traffic on the state Canal System in 2018 increased 3 percent over the previous year as boaters took advantage of tolls being waived, the Canal Corp. said. Such vessels—the most-common type on the canals—were recorded traveling through Canal System locks and lift bridges 71,529 times during the 2018 navigation season, compared to 69,362 lockings in 2017.

The figures account for each time a boat goes through a lock or under a lift bridge, not the actual number of boats. If a boat travels through several locks it would be counted as locking through each time.

This year the boating season on the canal will run from May 17 to Oct. 16.

The new concrete wall for the waste weir is next to a century-old wall of sandstone.

Return to top