The New York State Canal Corporation yesterday announced that recreational vessels can now travel through and dock in the Syracuse Inner Harbor, following a $10.3 million dredging project.
The dredging has created a 7.5-foot depth in the Inner Harbor, which is part of the state Canal System.
“The dredging project was a welcome investment in Syracuse by the state,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “Our lakefront is being transformed into a place to both live and have fun. This project will only encourage more people to come to the Inner Harbor.”
According to the Canal Corporation, the dredging was necessary because tons of silt and sand from Onondaga Creek goes into Onondaga Lake. That had reduced the depth in the Inner Harbor to as little as two feet, making it impassable for most vessels. The Canal Corporation will continue to dredge the Inner Harbor as needed to maintain proper depths.
“The Inner Harbor neighborhood is experiencing a renaissance and the completion of the dredging is an important step in continuing its resurgence,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. “We appreciate the Canal Corporation’s investment in this important piece of infrastructure so we as a community can capitalize on its economic potential.”
The Inner Harbor was created following the 1918 completion of the Barge Canal, now known as the New York State Canal System. It uses rivers and lakes more than the manmade channels employed by older versions of the canals.
The new waterway went north of Syracuse in contrast to the original canal, which ran through the heart of the city. To help Syracuse maintain a link to the canal, the state built a terminal at the southern end of Onondaga Lake and dug a channel that provided a connection to the canal from the lake.