Board Also Approves Contracts for Emergency Repairs on Canal System

For Immediate Release: 12/21/18

WHITE PLAINS—The New York State Canal Corporation Board of Directors has approved a new three-year contract with Parks & Trails New York to help develop and maintain the Erie Canalway Trail as it moves closer to completion and becomes part of a sprawling state trail network.

The contract, for $357,217, comes at a time when the Canal Corporation is playing a leadership role in the development of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Empire State Trail. The 750-mile trail, which will run from New York City to the Canadian border, is slated for completion in 2020 and will include the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail running from Albany to Buffalo.

More than 80 percent of the Canalway Trail is complete, and several projects are underway in Niagara County and the Mohawk Valley to fill in crucial gaps by next year.

PTNY is a nonprofit organization that works to expand and promote the use of parks, trails and open spaces. It also runs the Cycle the Erie Canal bike tour, which attracts nearly 800 cyclists annually to ride the length of the Erie Canal in July. Cycle the Erie, which receives funding and logistical support from the Canal Corporation, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The Canal Corporation has annually provided financial sponsorship for the event since its inception in 1998.

"PTNY is an enthusiastic steward of the Erie Canalway Trail and has been integral in our efforts to get more hikers and bikers to visit the canal corridor," said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. "PTNY has also been a valuable partner when it comes to marshaling the efforts of volunteers and local officials to promote, develop and maintain the trail."

The Canal Corporation has worked with PTNY over the last decade to enhance trail awareness and encourage volunteerism through such programs as the annual Canal Clean Sweep, which mobilizes thousands of volunteers to clear debris before trail usage picks up in the spring and the Adopt-a-Trail Program, where more than 25 groups help maintain a portion of trail and do beautification projects.

"We're excited to continue our very productive partnership with the Canal Corporation," said Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York. "As the Empire State Trail approaches completion, the Erie Canalway Trail will assume its well-deserved place as the centerpiece of the nation's premier trail network. We look forward to helping cyclists and other visitors - from around the country and the world - experience the Canalway Trail and all that canalside communities have to offer."

The board also approved five-year contracts to three firms to perform emergency repairs, recovery of vessels and rapid response to environmental incidents as needed on the state Canal System.

D.A. Construction Co. of Wilton will cover the eastern portion of the system, including the Champlain Canal and the eastern Erie Canal from Waterford to St. Johnsville. Tioga Construction Co. of Herkimer will cover the central portion, including the Erie Canal from Little Falls to Newark as well as the Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals. Hohl Industrial Services of Tonawanda will cover the Erie Canal from Palmyra to Lockport.

The contracts, worth a total of $57.3 million, were awarded following a competitive bidding process.

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