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Old 05-16-2020, 01:43 PM   #1
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New York Canal System

Beyond the Chicago closure there is bad news for the New York State Canals this year. Just saw these 2 updates on the Canal Corporation website-


Notice to Mariners
Navigation Aids and Reduced Water Levels
May 16, 2020
Mariners are advised to use caution as reduced water levels in some portions of the Canal system, especially near the Erie Canal’s movable dams in the Mohawk Valley, may create swift or other unusual currents and/or expose hazards. This condition may exist until such time that the movable dams are installed, and water levels are raised to their normal summer navigation depths.
Mariners are further advised that navigation aids have not been installed on the Canal system, which includes Oneida and Cayuga Lakes, Jamesville and Delta Reservoirs, as well as the lights on the Sylvan Beach breakwater.
For updates and information, please visit Canals.NY.gov or follow us on Facebook or Twitter





NOTICE TO MARINERS – 2020 CANAL SEASON OPENING SCHEDULE The New York State Canal Corporation today announced that much of the 524-mile Canal system will open for through navigation of the locks by July 4, 2020 as maintenance and construction projects are set to resume on a regional basis under the “NY Forward Reopening” plan.
Canal Corporation crews and contractors will mobilize to work sites in the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Central NY, Finger Lakes, and Western NY regions as those areas reopen. Maintenance work that needs to be completed at specific Canal facilities varies by location and locks along the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals will open for passage in a staggered fashion. Announcements regarding specific lock or regional openings will be communicated through the Canal Corporation’s “Notice to Mariners” notification program available at www.canals.ny.gov.
OPENING SCHEDULE (TENTATIVE)
Capital Region – “NY Forward Reopening” Date TBD
  • Erie Canal from Lock E-2 in Waterford to Lock E-9 in Rotterdam
  • Champlain Canal from Lock C-1 in Waterford to Lock C-12 in Whitehall
    Mohawk Valley Region – Locks opening in phases, targeted for between July 4th & August 10th
  • Erie Canal Lock E-10 in Cranesville through Sylvan Beach at Oneida Lake
    Central NY Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th
  • Erie Canal from Oneida Lake to Lock E-25 in May’s Point
  • Oswego Canal – except Lock O-7 in Oswego
    Finger Lakes Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th
  • Erie Canal from Lock E-25 in May’s Point to Locks E-34/35 in Lockport – except Lock E-26 in Clyde
  • Cayuga – Seneca Canal – except Locks CS-2/3 in Seneca Falls
    Western NY Region – “NY Forward Reopening” Date TBD
  • Erie Canal Locks E-34/35 in Lockport through Tonawanda
    As maintenance and construction work commences, most boaters, paddlers, and anglers can access sections of the Canal system for recreational use today. Mariners are advised that some sections of the Canal system will have reduced water levels until such time as the Canal Corporation completes its projects. In addition, navigation aids are not currently in place, but will be installed on the Canal system as the regions open.
    All users of the Canal system and adjacent Empire State Trail are encouraged to practice social distancing while using boat launches, trails and other public resources.
    The Canal Corporation appreciates the public’s patience during this time and urges all users to register to receive updates through the “Notice to Mariners” notification program
    at www.canals.ny.gov.
For updates and information, please visit Canals.NY.gov or follow us on Facebook or Twitter




Wish I had better news.




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Old 05-16-2020, 01:48 PM   #2
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I love that phrase "much of the canal". Really? Its a canal. Opening 90 percent will leave folks stranded somewhere.
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:24 PM   #3
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Well... crap. Even though I expected something like this, I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed. Looks like Sylphide and I won't be returning to home waters this summer. That's quite inconvenient.

Anybody want to buy my house?
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:33 PM   #4
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That's like, "We don't have a plan, but we do have a plan to plan to have a plan at some point."
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:49 PM   #5
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That's like, "We don't have a plan, but we do have a plan to plan to have a plan at some point."
... Possibly.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:47 PM   #6
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That's like, "We don't have a plan, but we do have a plan to plan to have a plan at some point."
In all fairness guys construction was shut down 2-3 mos ago... some sections just got the OK to resume construction yesterday and others are still closed with no firm date for resuming comstruction... when the region meets the criterion?
Can anyone plan firm dates in this environment.
It's not a matter of when they choose to just turn the switch on!
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:36 PM   #7
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They've got a little more detail on the project status page they put up: Notice to Mariners

There's still some unknowns though. Getting the Eastern end of the Erie Canal open seems to be the biggest unknown, so yeah, I wouldn't count on being able to get Sylphide to home waters this year. Maybe you'll get lucky and have a window towards the end of the season before it's time to head back south.
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:43 PM   #8
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In all fairness guys construction was shut down 2-3 mos ago... some sections just got the OK to resume construction yesterday and others are still closed with no firm date for resuming comstruction... when the region meets the criterion?
Can anyone plan firm dates in this environment.
It's not a matter of when they choose to just turn the switch on!
No, no one can have firm dates but their announcement keeps getting attention and yet it doesn't provide any information for anyone thinking about transiting the canal except if one reads between the lines, it says "don't bet on it." It reminds me of Major League Baseball, so wanting to say something but having nothing they can really say.

We're the same when asked about our school plans. We're not going to announce plans for August. We shut down two months ago. We've still got 2 1/2 months to August. Not even half way there. What in the world would make us think we know what we can do then. We've got plan A, B, C, D and more but no plan we can go with now.

That's life as it is today.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:53 PM   #9
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No, no one can have firm dates but their announcement keeps getting attention and yet it doesn't provide any information for anyone thinking about transiting the canal except if one reads between the lines, it says "don't bet on it." It reminds me of Major League Baseball, so wanting to say something but having nothing they can really say.

We're the same when asked about our school plans. We're not going to announce plans for August. We shut down two months ago. We've stillcosts / got 2 1/2 months to August. Not even half way there. What in the world would make us think we know what we can do then. We've got plan A, B, C, D and more but no plan we can go with now.

That's life as it is today.
I understand it has to be frustrating for those "counting" on the canal for transit but I believe the best interpretation is "we don't know when various locks / complete canal will be opened at this point - will let you know when we know more. Canal Corp is notorious for not wanting to predict anything - even some very short term closures due to relatively minor interruptions. They tell you when it goes down and again when it is ready to open.

I think many don't realize that this is a "recreation" canal system that costs/ loses $ Millions every year. In today's environment the priority isn't very high by any means.
If anyone has observed the state work crews you will understand that schedule is not their priority and have no incentive to meet anyone's schedule.
I have had to deal with NY State agencies at times and it's sad but they truly march to a different drummer and reason, logic nor common sense applies.
I have had some project folks report how much cheaper they can complete projects compared to private enterprise bids. When queried they are counting only the cost of material as workers labor is "fixed cost" in their mind - regardless of how many workers and how long it takes the cost of a project is only the material when the state does it vs total cost of a private contractor.
I have learned the hard way - You can't anyone reason with unreasonable people??
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:42 PM   #10
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I understand it has to be frustrating for those "counting" on the canal for transit but I believe the best interpretation is "we don't know when various locks / complete canal will be opened at this point - will let you know when we know more. Canal Corp is notorious for not wanting to predict anything - even some very short term closures due to relatively minor interruptions. They tell you when it goes down and again when it is ready to open.

I think many don't realize that this is a "recreation" canal system that costs/ loses $ Millions every year. In today's environment the priority isn't very high by any means.
If anyone has observed the state work crews you will understand that schedule is not their priority and have no incentive to meet anyone's schedule.
I have had to deal with NY State agencies at times and it's sad but they truly march to a different drummer and reason, logic nor common sense applies.
I have had some project folks report how much cheaper they can complete projects compared to private enterprise bids. When queried they are counting only the cost of material as workers labor is "fixed cost" in their mind - regardless of how many workers and how long it takes the cost of a project is only the material when the state does it vs total cost of a private contractor.
I have learned the hard way - You can't anyone reason with unreasonable people??
I don't disagree with anything you say. I would be perfectly ok if they just stated the canal would be closed for the summer. I think at best it will be a short season and the canal should not be a priority this year. I just hope that doesn't carry forward beyond the year.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:03 PM   #11
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Hey, the state of New York could just say they loose too much on the canal so they are going to shut down the whole system. Thankfully they have not done that since it is an incredible resource for us.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:07 PM   #12
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" I think at best it will be a short season and the canal should not be a priority this year. I just hope that doesn't carry forward beyond the year."

On the concern for the future we are in total agreement.
The HUGE deficit NY will be dealing with is likely affect many previously announced projects as well as many anticipated but not announced. I have to think that the major commitment reinvisioning the canal will at best be delayed and at worst may not survive the cuts... will have to wait and see I guess.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:11 AM   #13
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So glad I made the decision to reverse loop rather than wait it out
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:24 AM   #14
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On thing we found last summer was the canal was quick to announce a lock closure due to a broken gate, valve, or whatever. The re-openings were almost never announced. Traffic going the other way was the notice. Fortunately it did not impact us at all.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:09 AM   #15
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Hey, the state of New York could just say they loose too much on the canal so they are going to shut down the whole system. Thankfully they have not done that since it is an incredible resource for us.
....an accurate assessment that belies the contention from the great loop boating community that they are a significant contributor to the economies along the circuit. If the transient community wants to continue the lifestyle...pay for the maintenance of the canal system.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:47 AM   #16
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I'm afraid as boaters we have a lot to worry about. The funds likely to be spent on the canals and the funds to be spent on dredging all the ICW's and all the rivers. In addition state or municipal marinas. Every state and city is facing a huge deficit.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:39 PM   #17
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NY Canal Corp just issued a Notice to Mariners with a detailed project list with est completion dates for all of the late opennings.
See
http://www.canals.ny.gov/news/Projec...Reopening.html
This is unprecedented in my 30 yrs of boating the NY Canals I have never seen them issue any estimates like this before... wonders never cease!
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:18 AM   #18
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It's not 1 canal but a system of canals, so if "much" of it is open, some would be unaffected by the closed portions depending on your destination. For instance, if you are going from Lake Champlain to the Hudson River, you wouldn't care if the Eire canal was closed.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:36 PM   #19
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It's not 1 canal but a system of canals, so if "much" of it is open, some would be unaffected by the closed portions depending on your destination. For instance, if you are going from Lake Champlain to the Hudson River, you wouldn't care if the Eire canal was closed.
Very true but at the current time all sections have one or more locks closed that prevent transiting any distance or to any destination of significance. Champlain, Eastern Erie, Western Erie, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca sections are all blocked.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:21 PM   #20
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I didn't look into details of where the closures are, I was replying to High Wire who said that if the system was only open 90% that people would be stranded. That's only true if the canal you need to transit is closed.
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