State approves $1 million for canal projects, but none in Orleans

Provided image: The Buffalo Maritime Center is building a replica of Gov. DeWitt Clinton’s 1825 Erie Canal Packet Boat.

Posted 28 December 2018 at 12:28 pm

Press Release, NYS Canal Corporation

ALBANY—The New York State Canal Corporation announced earlier this month it has made $1 million in grants throughout the state for projects that raise awareness about the Canal System’s rich heritage as well as initiatives to enhance canal trails on land and water.

The grants were made as part of $763 million awarded by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo following recommendations from the State’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils.

“This is an exceptional group of grantees whose enthusiasm for furthering the legacy of New York’s canals was immediately apparent in their applications,” said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. “We look forward to working with them to fulfill their vision for how to make the canal experience more impactful and memorable.”

The grants will fund a portion of each project. Additional funds are expected to come from a mix of public and private sources. Some projects received additional grants from other state agencies. The projects include:

Seneca Chief Replica ($150,000). The Buffalo Maritime Center seeks to create a historically accurate replica of the Seneca Chief, the packet boat that led the flotilla for the 1825 official opening of the Erie Canal and carried Governor DeWitt Clinton from Buffalo to New York Harbor. The boat will be built at the Inner Harbor in Buffalo in full public view

Amsterdam Boardwalk ($150,000). This project is a key component of a $30 million brownfield revitalization development and part of the City of Amsterdam’s recent designation as a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative community. The project includes an elevated pedestrian boardwalk and community space adjacent to the Erie Canal and connect new neighborhoods and developments on Amsterdam’s historic south side to the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook

Newark Trail Connector ($150,000). The Finger Lakes village of Newark in Wayne County will improve about 1.6 miles of Erie Canalway Trail that is currently too narrow, lacks wayfinding signage and is susceptible to erosion. The trail will be widened and outfitted with lighting between the Edgett Road Bridge to the Port of Newark and downtown business district

Fairport Canalside Accessibility ($150,000). On the north bank in the Monroe County village of Fairport, new docks accessible to the disabled will be installed, along with an accessible kayak launch, regraded boat ramp, observation deck, wayfinding, an information kiosk and new lighting and landscaping. Enhancements along the south bank include a new park that will feature an interpretive heritage trail to celebrate the Erie Canal bicentennial.

Fulton Canal Corridor ($150,000). This project will help construct two multi-use trails along the Oswego Canal, the Pathfinder Canal Towpath Trail and the Canalview Bridge Walk Trail. It will build upon work already completed in the village of Fulton, such as the Indian Point Landing gazebo as well as the downtown Canal Landing marina, gazebo and park.

Lockport Locks Heritage District: Lewiston artist Susan Geissler has been commissioned to create cast bronze life-sculptures of the 12 Lock tenders, plus a daughter of one of the lock tenders and the photographer taking the picture of the group. The completed sculptures will be installed on the very stairs in the Lockport Locks where the lock tenders were photographed over 150 years ago. The project will be phased in over several years and could cost $1.1 million altogether.

Lockport Locks Sculptures ($125,000). This project seeks to honor an iconic 19th-century photograph of Erie Canal lock tenders on the steps of the old Flight of Five locks in Lockport, by creating 14 life-sized bronze sculptures of those same lock tenders. These sculptures will enhance the experience of visitors travelling to Lockport to see the restored famed “Flight of Five”, the double lock E-34/35 of the New York State Canal System and other attractions.

New Trail Signage ($95,359). Signage throughout the canal corridor will identify water trail access points, historic sites and canal infrastructure that can be visited during a water trip. The project by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, will complement the release of a new guidebook, a navigational map set and website updates that will identify launch points and trail blazers.

Ithaca Waterfront ($29,575). Ithaca will partner with a private developer, City Harbor LLC, to improve the Cayuga Lake waterfront. The project will include housing, seawall construction and new boat slips. Ithaca will also develop a public promenade, a connector path to the Ithaca Waterfront Trail and electric car charging. Ithaca is at the southern end of the Canal System, connected by the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and the navigation channel through Cayuga Lake.

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