"The Erie Canal transformed New York into an economic powerhouse in the 19th century, and in the 21st century can again serve as an engine for growth along the canal corridor," Cuomo said. "With this initiative, we are both honoring the canal's heritage and ensuring a very bright future."
The NYPA board also approved $30 million to fund Reimagine initiative projects in 2020 as part of the five-year plan, which also aims to enhance irrigation, restore wetlands and expand recreational fishing opportunities.
Projects that will move forward with the initial funding include:
- The "Brockport Loop" project in Monroe County will connect SUNY College at Brockport to the Empire State Trail and the village of Brockport through the transformation of a canal guard-gate into a pedestrian bridge and overlook.
- Interactive, hydro-powered illumination of Canal "movable dams" — initially in Amsterdam and Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley — will celebrate the Canal's heritage and history.
- Winner of the Reimagine the Canals competition, a canalside pocket neighborhood will be developed by Madison County at a former industrial property in Canastota along the Old Erie Canal, demonstrating a model for 21st century canalside living.
- A new whitewater destination, at the north end of Cayuga Lake near Seneca Falls, will increase eco-tourism and sport visitors to the region.
- The historic Guy Park Manor, on the Mohawk River in Amsterdam, will be reborn as a hospitality and recreation destination. A pedestrian bridge constructed across a canal lock will provide access to the Empire State Trail on the opposite side of the river.
NYPA runs the New York State Canal Corporation and the 524-mile state Canal System as a subsidiary. Details and spending for each project will be finalized as the projects are designed and developed in collaboration with local community stakeholders.
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