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New update has most of the Erie Canal opening by July 4 from WNY to Albany

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2020 at 3:54 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The sign on the tugboat, Pittsford, is shown on Sunday evening in Albion, where the vessel is stationed.

With the Western New York and Capital Regions each given the green light for phase 1 reopenings, the State Canal Corp. has adjusted its plan for the opening of the Erie Canal.

Nearly the entire system is now planned to be ready by July 4 for the start of the navigational season.

The season was scheduled to open on May 15, but was pushed back. The Covid-19 pandemic and the limit on construction activities delayed some maintenance work needed before the canal can reopen.

Last Friday, the Canal Corp. announced most of the canal would open by July 4, but some sections might not open by July 4, including in the Albany region and the section from Lockport west through Tonawanda.

The rest of the canal was cleared for phase 1 of the reopening, including Orleans County which is in the Finger Lakes Region.

Western New York was cleared to reopen today and the Capital Region has met the state’s seven criterion to reopen, beginning on Wednesday.

The State Canal Corp. today said maintenance work needs to be completed at specific canal facilities varies by location and locks along the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals. They will open for passage in a staggered fashion.

Announcements regarding specific lock or regional openings will be communicated through the Canal Corporation’s “Notice to Mariners” notification program available at www.canals.ny.gov. The Canal Corporation said it appreciates the public’s patience during this time.

Here is the updated tentative schedule for the canal’s opening:

Capital Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal from Lock E-2 in Waterford to Lock E-9 in Rotterdam

• Except for Locks E-7 (Niskayuna), E-8 (Scotia), and E-9 (Rotterdam) – these locks are forecast to open between July 20th and August 10th

• Champlain Canal from Lock C-1 in Waterford to Lock C-12 in Whitehall

• Except for Lock C-12 (Whitehall), which is forecast to open on August 10th

Mohawk Valley Region – Locks opening in phases, targeted for between July 4th & August 10th

• Erie Canal Lock E-10 in Cranesville through Sylvan Beach at Oneida Lake

Central NY Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal from Oneida Lake to Lock E-25 in May’s Point

• Oswego Canal – except Lock O-7 in Oswego, which is forecast to open on August 10th

Finger Lakes Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal from Lock E-25 in May’s Point to Locks E-34/35 in Lockport – except Lock E-26 in Clyde, which is forecast to open on July 13th

• Cayuga – Seneca Canal – except Locks CS-2/3 in Seneca Falls, which are forecast to open on August 3rd

Western NY Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal Locks E-34/35 in Lockport through Tonawanda

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