U.S. Rep. Michael A. Arcuri (NY-24) joined the New York State Canal Corporation today to announce the official opening of a newly rehabilitated 20-mile Canalway Trail segment in Madison and Oneida counties.
The reconstructed trail between State Route 13/Peterboro Street in Canastota and Fort Bull Road/Erie Canal Village in Rome is part of the 38-mile bike-and-hike Erie Canalway Trail along the Old Erie Canal State Park from Dewitt to Rome. Canal Corporation Director Carmella R. Mantello hosted the Canalway Trail ceremony at Lock 21 in New London in Oneida County. The event was attended by numerous State and local officials, community members and trail volunteers.
The project features a 10-foot wide crushed limestone and asphalt surface trail. Informational sign kiosks were installed at the trailhead in Canastota and at Erie Canal Lock 21. Improvements were also made to the trail crossing at Lock 21. In addition, a hiker-biker-boater campsite was installed at Lock 21.
The $2.12 million project was sponsored by the New York State Canal Corporation with funds from the Federal Transportation Enhancement funds administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.
Congressman Michael Arcuri said, "The Erie Canal is an important part of our heritage here in Central New York, but over the years it has been neglected and forgotten. By turning the canal-front into a livable, walkable and green section of our communities, it will drive tourism, recreation, and improve the quality of life for residents."
Canal Director Mantello said, "The rededication ceremony today represents another step forward in our efforts to connect canal communities and encourage increased recreation, tourism, and economic development along the entire Canal System. The partnerships forged between the Canal Corporation and numerous organizations, including state and local governments, are vital to the Trail's success. Completion of the Canalway Trail will provide a tremendous statewide link, creating new and exciting recreational opportunities in Oneida and Madison counties and all along the scenic and historic Canal Corridor."
Rome Mayor James F. Brown said, "The completion of this segment of the trail will not only provide enhanced recreation opportunities for our residents but will also enhance our tourism and development efforts along this corridor and our entire community. Amenities like this are vital to improving the quality of life we enjoy. I appreciate the vision of Canal Corporation Director Carmela Mantello and look forward to the successful completion of the last few remaining portions of this statewide system."
The project was developed in partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which operates and maintains the Old Erie Canal State Park. Additional partners include Madison and Oneida counties, the City of Rome, the Village of Canastota, and the Towns of Lenox and Verona. The project, started in 2009, was constructed by Ulster Paving Company from Canastota, N.Y.
More than three-quarters of the 348-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany is now complete.
The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture.