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Questions & Answers

Questions and general inquiries regarding the Competition can be submitted to by 5:00 p.m. EST November 27, 2017. Responses will be posted on a rolling basis on this page.

Questions related to the extent of the New York State Canal System and eligible sections for this competition

For research, what resources are available to better understand the context of the Canal System?
A map and definitions of the extent of the New York State Canal System, and other background information can be found under resources on the Background page on our website.

An interactive map of the Canal System’s infrastructure can be found here.

For photos, the Canal Corporation recommends viewing the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission’s online gallery. A virtual tour of the Canal System is also available here.

GIS files for the Canal System can be found here.

If there is a specific site or section of the Canal you are interested in, we might be able to send you some photos.

Does the Competition include the original Erie Canal, which in many communities is already a park or recreation area, or is the Competition focusing on the Barge Canal route, or both?
The Competition seeks proposals for ideas that address components of the Canal System and adjacent communities, which includes the original Erie Canal. Since its construction, the Barge Canal and its connecting Champlain, Cayuga-Seneca, and Oswego Canals (which is now called the New York State Canal System) has carried the bulk of waterborne vessels. As a result, enhancements to the New York State Canal System are a key priority for the Competition. However, the full Canal System and/or any components are open for proposals from submitting teams.

What do the 524 miles of the New York State Canal System include?
The New York State Canal System mileage includes the Erie Canal (including Oneida Lake and Cross Lake), the Champlain Canal, the Oswego Canal, and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, including the lengths of Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. The mileage also includes the channel down Onondaga Lake to the Syracuse Inner Harbor, and navigable connections to Utica and Rochester. You can have a look at the complete canal system map here.

What are the "boundaries" of the competition?
Sites and sections for the competition should be along or near the New York State Canal System, a map of which can be found under “Resources” on this page. The New York State Canal System is made up of the Erie Canal, the Oswego Canal, the Champlain Canal, and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. The statutory definition of each of these four branches are available here, under Article 1, Section 2 (Definitions).

Are there any particular sites that will be the focus of the Competition or a vision presented for the entire canal network?
Ideas and proposals that focus on specific segments of the Canal System are encouraged. However, submissions may be site-specific or address the Canal System in its entirety.

Can ideas be entered for structures or sections that were once part of the Erie Canal, but not located on the current canal?
Yes. The competition does not preclude ideas for historic canal structures and components.

Questions related to the eligibility of participants

Is the competition open to students?
Yes, students are eligible to apply for this competition. You can read more about the eligibility criteria here.

I am a registered landscape architect employed as a Regional Landscape Architect with the New York State Department of Transportation. My Region is not in the Empire Canal Corridor. Many years ago I served on the NY State Canal Planning and Development Board as a representative of the non-profit group, Erie's Restoration Interests Everyone, Inc. I would like to know if I would still be able to serve on a team submitting ideas, or if I am not able to due to my employment with NYSDOT?
You may be able to participate in the Competition. It is however strongly advised that you confirm your eligibility with your employer as well as the NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Questions related to finalist team awards

Will an honorarium be given to each of the shortlisted teams to pursue the second stage design?
As per the Competition guidelines on the website, up to eight finalists will be selected at the end of Stage One, and they will receive an award up to $50,000 each to develop their ideas for submission in Stage Two. The exact value of this award will be decided by NYPA and the Canal Corporation based on the proposal submitted by the finalist.

In the interest of conceiving an idea that economically feasible, we were wondering what the construction budget is. On the website it says: “…winners to receive awards of between $250,000 and $1,500,000 towards project planning and implementation.” The amount between $250.000 and $1.500.000 does that cover both architect/engineer fees as well as construction?
The prize money is intended to be used for the next step in any proposal. This could, for example, include but is not limited to planning, feasibility, design, procurement, implementation for a physical project or the planning/organization for a programming initiative. NYPA will work with selected winners to determine the optimal use of award funds that will achieve the Competition goals. Hence, projects do not have to have to be limited to a budget between $250,000 and $1,500,000. Finalists will be encouraged to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposals, and that can include providing potential sources of financing and evidence of collaborating with local partners along the canal.

Please advise if you are a winner of any monies how is that taxed? or treated?
Please consult a tax professional.

Other questions

Reading through the Terms and Conditions, the status of ownership rights of the idea is still unclear. Does the submitter retain all rights or does submission to the competition convey or relinquish those rights to NYPA?
The applicant grants NYPA and the Canal Corporation a non-exclusive, royalty free license to use partially or fully the idea presented in the submitted proposal. This means that the applicant can continue using the idea for other purposes, but also grants NYPA the right to use the idea for the purpose of this Competition.

Will there be a brief released for the Competition?
The brief, including competition goals, submission requirements, evaluation criteria, and timeline can be found on the website. No additional brief for Stage One will be released.

What is the evaluation criteria for the competition? How will qualifications and design be evaluated, etc.?
Information about the evaluation criteria for Stage One can be found here