Rebuilding Lock O-7 Will Ensure Structural Integrity and Public Safety For Residents and Visitors

For Immediate Release: 10/13/17

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $25 million project will begin in November to reconstruct a critical lock along the Oswego Canal that was built in the early 20th century. Lock O-7, which is located near the Oswego Canal's entrance from Lake Ontario, will be substantially rebuilt to ensure its stability, safety and operational consistency for another 100 years.

"Public safety is priority number one - and by investing in the resiliency of Lock O-7, we can help ensure Oswego residents and visitors remain safe while visiting one of New York's great historic treasures," Governor Cuomo said. "This investment will ensure the lock is built better and stronger than ever before, while providing boaters a seamless experience on the Canal for decades to come."

Lock O-7, which was built in 1914, has been closely monitored in recent years by the New York State Canal Corporation, which has determined that a complete rehabilitation of the structure is necessary for the safety of visitors and canal users. The Oswego Canal, which last underwent a major overhaul in 1970, is part of the 524-mile New York State Canal System, which also includes the Erie, Champlain and Cayuga-Seneca canals. Originally built between 1905 and 1918 as the Barge Canal, today's Canal System will celebrate its centennial in 2018.

The state-funded rehabilitation of Lock O-7 is scheduled to begin in November. The project will include:

  • Construction of a new lock house and lock operator shelters;
  • Installation of a cofferdam and rock anchors;
  • Refaced lock walls and approach walls; and
  • The refurbishing of operating machinery and more.

The construction and funding for the project was approved by the Canal Corporation Board earlier this year. The work is expected to be finished by 2020 and has been scheduled to avoid interruptions to the navigation season, ensuring the lock will be operable for boaters. This year's navigation season ended on October 11.

New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "Important strategic investments like these ensure the continued safe and uninterrupted operation of the canals for recreational and commercial users both tomorrow, and for generations to come, which operates the Canal Corporation as a subsidiary.

"Keeping our critical infrastructure in good condition is key to New Yorkers and visitors alike safely enjoying all that the canals have to offer," said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. "This project, like other investments in our iconic canal system, will help provide a waterway that is not only beautiful - but also stronger and more viable than ever."

Congressman John Katko said, "This investment will provide a much-needed update to Lock O7 on the Oswego Canal, and will ensure the safety of all who utilize it. New York's unique canal system is an incredible asset to our community and to our local tourism-based economy. I applaud the Governor for recognizing the importance of preserving our natural waterways, especially as the Canal System prepares to celebrate its centennial."

Senator Patty Ritchie said, "There's no better way to celebrate the centennial of the New York Canal System than by guaranteeing its future. The Oswego Canal is enjoyed by boaters from all across New York and provides a major tourism boost across its 23.7 mile-stretch. The rebuilding of Lock O-7 is an important upgrade to ensure this remains the case for decades to come. I would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Power Authority for this investment into Oswego's future."

Assemblyman Will Barclay said, "The Oswego Canal provides vital recreation, tourism, and economic development opportunities for the entire county and region. I am pleased the state is making these important infrastructure investments to Lock 0-7 ensuring its safety and continued operation. These types of improvements will not just benefit the city of Oswego but the entire canal system and surrounding communities for years to come."

Oswego Mayor William J. Barlow said, "The Oswego Canal is an integral piece of Oswego's history, with boaters from all over the world traveling through Lock 7 as a gateway to our city. I am thrilled to see this important investment in the city of Oswego and look forward to more improvements in the future."

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner said, "The Oswego River and, subsequently, the Oswego Canal have played significant roles in the development and growth of Oswego County. Access to and from Lake Ontario through this important waterway was the focus of several international maritime conflicts early in our nation's history. Today, it is our connection center of commerce at ports throughout the world. We are pleased that Governor Cuomo continues to make critical investments in New York's infrastructure and look forward to other opportunities to work with him in his efforts to grow the region."

About the New York State Canal Corporation

The Canal Corporation runs the New York State Canal System, which includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. In 2017, the Canal Corporation celebrated the 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Erie Canal, which occurred in the city of Rome on July 4, 1817. The Canal System includes the Erie Canalway Trail, a multi-use trail designed to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers. Together, the canals and trail create a world-class recreationway that is a vibrant, scenic and unique New York resource.

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Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192