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NY Makes $50M Investment in Canal System


A historic $50 million capital investment into the New York State Canal system has been included as part of the FY 2025 Enacted Budget.

As the State prepares to celebrate the Erie Canal’s Bicentennial in 2025 and looks ahead to the next century of operation along the 524-mile Canal system, this funding ensures that the waterway will remain safe, operable, and a driver of tourism and economic activity. Investments will focus on high-priority infrastructure needs including the rehabilitation of water-impounding structures that have been in service for more than a century. Friday’s announcement coincided with the seasonal opening of navigation on the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals.

“Nearly 200 years ago Governor DeWitt Clinton opened the original Erie Canal connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and now we are making a significant investment to ensure the current Erie Canal and the entire canal system remain safe and a vibrant part of our state’s fabric,” Governor Hochul said. “As a lifelong boater who has plied the canal waters, I know firsthand that the canalway means so much to our communities. This commitment of funding will allow our historic canals to be part of New York’s story for generations to come.”

The funding included as part of the FY 2025 Enacted Budget is part of a comprehensive effort to revitalize the iconic Canal system by the New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corporation. This effort includes strategically rehabilitating and improving the system’s infrastructure including locks, dams, embankments, culverts, and other civil assets so that the network of waterways and trails will continue to positively support the more than 200 upstate New York communities that are within the canal corridor.

Projects to be funded with the $50 million may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Rehabilitation of reservoir dams built in the 19th and early 20th century to supply water to the Enlarged Erie Canal (1836 – 1918) and other canals. 
  • Waste weirs used to regulate the canal’s water levels.
  • Improvements to earthen embankment dams, including the continuation of extensive work in Royalton, Niagara County to install a soil-bentonite slurry wall to mitigate seepage.
  • Rehabilitation of other water management structures that provide resilience benefits, like guard gates which can be used to isolate and protect sites during high water events.

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