NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced Thursday, January 12 that construction began on a $1.7 million project to restore a portion of the original Erie Canal.
The project will stabilize the historic Erie Canal Aqueduct at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Montgomery County.
The aqueduct was built in 1841 and is a vital piece of New York’s history as it is one of the 19th century’s greatest commercial and engineering projects. The aqueduct carried the water of the Enlarged Erie Canal over the Schoharie Creek, or the location of 18th century Fort Hunter and the Lower Castle Mohawk village.
“We are thrilled to be able to undertake this important project and preserve this engineering landmark for the enjoyment of all New Yorkers,” said State Parks Commissioner, Erik Kulleseid. “This stabilization project will ensure that the aqueduct remains a world-class destination for visitors, while also honoring the ingenuity and hard work of the New Yorkers who built it over 180 years ago. The aqueduct is a component of one of our most visible parks within the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor and tells the story of New York’s role in the expansion of our nation.”
As a beloved landmark within the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor, the aqueduct is an important piece of history being among the oldest remaining original structures of the canal.
“With the upcoming bicentennial of the Erie Canal in 2025, stabilization of the Schoharie Aqueduct could not be more timely,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “This momentous project will offer hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Empire State Trail and Erie Canal opportunities to touch history, learn about the far-reaching impacts of New York’s canals, and witness the State’s stewardship of historic resources.”
The stabilization project will fix the aqueducts structure and foundation which is in need of extensive repairs. It will also include an installation of a new interpretive signage to educate visitors about the site’s history.
Construction will be completed sometime in 2023 and normal operations at the boat launch and picnic area will resume upon completion. Status updates on the project can be found at parks.ny.gov or on Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site social media.