Jun 5th 2020 | Posted in Infrastructure by Government Contracting Pipeline

New York – The state is working on a $300 million plan to repair damaged wetlands along the Erie Canal and develop it into a tourist destination.
The effort is part of the state’s Reimagine the Canals initiative that aims to revive floodways and foster new hydrologic connections to replenish three wetlands and benefit farmland irrigation.
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will use $100 million of the project total for the initiative’s early stages that focus on economic development.
More than $25 million of that will be allocated immediately to five initial projects.
NY Erie Canal A Canalside Pocket Neighborhood rendering WEB Madison County pocket neighborhood RFQ part of canal plan

Rendering of Canastota pocket neighborhood

A canalside pocket neighborhood will be developed by Madison County in Central New York at a former industrial property in Canastota along the Old Erie Canal. The county issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the project. Deadline for submissions is 2 p.m. July 21.

The project site, currently owned by Madison County, is 2.5 acres with 252 feet of frontage on the historic Erie Canal. This project was the winning proposal of the state’s Reimagine the Canals competition and has received $1.5 million in grant funding which will be used in direct support of redeveloping the site.
The preferred redevelopment for the site is a “pocket neighborhood” that includes a mix of housing, creative site design and layout, and reactivation of the canal waterfront. This project is intended to be a pilot project for the NYS Canal system.
Another early project is the “Brockport Loop” project in Monroe County that 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.
An interactive, hydro-powered illumination of Canal “movable dams” – initially in Amsterdam and Canajoharie in the Mohawk River valley – will celebrate the Canal’s heritage and its history as an engineering innovation.
A new whitewater destination, at the north end of Cayuga Lake near Seneca Falls, will rely on existing water control infrastructure to construct an active water sports course adjacent to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, to 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 destination and a pedestrian bridge constructed across the already-existing Canal lock will provide access to additional overnight accommodation along the Empire State Trail on the opposite side of the river.
NYPA also plans to spend $65 million on infrastructure improvements such as flood and ice jam solutions near Schenectady.
The remaining $135 million of the plan’s funding will be allocated to research recommended by the Reimagine Task Force, as well as to solutions related to flood mitigation, invasive species prevention, and ecosystem restoration.