Project Will Allow for Pleasure Boats to Dock in Former Canal Maintenance Hub Being Transformed Into a Vibrant City Neighborhood 

For Immediate Release: 11/29/18

SYRACUSE—The New York State Canal Corporation today announced that dredging of the Inner Harbor has begun in order to enable recreational vessels to begin docking there during next year's canal navigation season.

The $10.3 million project will allow for an eight-foot depth in the Inner Harbor, which is part of the state Canal System on the south end of Onondaga Lake. The Inner Harbor once served as a major canal maintenance facility and was also a hub for boat manufacturing, including vessels to ship salt, once a major commodity in Central New York.

"The Inner Harbor is shaping into a vibrant new neighborhood in Syracuse and this project will enable it to become a key destination for recreation as well," said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. "We are pleased that an area that played an important role in Erie Canal history is being reimagined."

The dredging is necessary because tons of silt and sand that originate in Onondaga Creek makes its way into Onondaga Lake and reduces the depth in the Inner Harbor to as little as two feet, which makes it impassable for most vessels.

Carver Construction of Altamont was awarded the contract for the dredging, which is expected to be completed by May 15.

In 2012, the New York State Thruway Authority, then the parent agency of the Canal Corporation, completed the transfer of 34 acres around the Inner Harbor to Syracuse for future development. A $350 million mixed-development community is planned and is expected to be fully built out over the next decade. Some components, including a hotel and apartments, are already open.

"Maintaining a navigable Inner Harbor is critical to continuing the redevelopment and growth of Syracuse's Lakefront as a mixed-use neighborhood and entertainment destination," said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. "We thank the Canal Corporation for their continued investment in our city."

"With dredging underway in the Inner Harbor, the economic activity and opportunity for the Inner Harbor neighborhood and surrounding area is limitless," said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. "This investment by the Canal Corporation into its infrastructure is welcome news and we thank them for their commitment."

The Canal Corporation will continue to maintain responsibility for the water in the Inner Harbor, which will need regular dredging to maintain an adequate depth.

About the New York State Canal Corporation

New York's canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. In 2018, New York is celebrating the bicentennial of the start of the Erie Canal's construction.

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Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192