Civil War-era Reservoir Once Used for Erie Canal Now an Important Hub of Regional Recreation

For Immediate Release: 10/01/19

WHITE PLAINS—The New York State Canal Corporation trustees have approved a $7.8 million contract to rehabilitate the DeRuyter Dam in central New York, a Civil War-era structure once used as a reservoir for the Erie Canal.

The dam, which spans the Town of Fabius in Onondaga County and the Town of Cazenovia in Madison County, will undergo repairs through October 2020.

The reservoir is a manmade 575-acre lake built during the Civil War to provide water for the Erie Canal, though it is no longer used for that purpose.

"This project will ensure the DeRuyter Dam and reservoir is safe and secure, which is always our top priority," said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. "DeRuyter is now an important resource for boating, fishing and bird watching and the Canal Corporation wants to ensure it is available for people to use now and for generations to come."

The dam is considered a high-hazard structure by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. While there is no imminent danger of failure, work is needed to ensure the dam's long-term safety and integrity.

The project includes stabilizing the dam embankment, installing drainage systems and rehabilitating overflow spillways. Crews will also remove tree stumps, install in-ground instrumentation to monitor the dam, resurface roadways and perform electrical work.

The contract was awarded to The Wesson Group LLC of Johnstown following a competitive bidding process.

View more information about the DeRuyter Dam rehabilitation.

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 2019, New York will mark the 200th anniversary of the first trip taken on the Erie Canal, from Rome to Utica.

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Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192