SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The New York State Erie Canal is now open and ready for business. The 525 mile long canal opened this weekend for the 188th year, and canal officials were in Syracuse to award the city's canal division with the Best Derrick Boat award for its maintenance work on the canal.
After natural disasters hit the state last year, about 75 miles of the canal were shut down for nearly two months. The repairs cost millions of dollars, but this year, the canal is open for a full season.
"But through hard work of many engineering folks, private contractors, other agencies working with us, we recovered, we reopened as this system has done for nearly 200 years," said Brian Stratton, Director of NYS Canal Corporation.
Having the full canal open this year means many events are back on. The state will hold its Cycle the Erie Canal Ride this July, with bicyclists riding 400 miles from Buffalo to Albany.