Erie Canalway expansion continues

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Construction to complete a missing link in the Erie Canalway Trail near Lyons, which is in Wayne County, will begin this year, the state Canal Corporation announced today.

It’s the second expansion project that’s been unveiled this week as members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet and executive staff ride bicycles with 500 ┬áparticipants of the 14th-annual “Cycling the Erie Canal” event. The state officials are stopping in communities along the way.

Earlier, officials stopped in Lockport to announce that the state would accept bids in 2013 for the construction of an eight-mile segment between that town and Amherst.

Once completed, the trail segment between Abbey Park and Erie Canal Lock 27 will link to an Erie Canalway Trail segment currently under construction in the towns of Arcadia and Lyons. Along with the portion connection Amherst and Lockport, the construction will help to create a 134-mile uninterrupted trail route from Lyons to Buffalo.

“With nearly $380 million in tourism-related economic benefits to Canal Corridor communities and businesses annually, the Canal System is poised to play a major role in fueling upstate New York’s economic comeback,” said Brian Stratton, Canal Corporation director and former Schenectady mayor. “The Canalway Trail is becoming increasingly popular, and completing critical gap segments like this will help communities realize the full potential for tourism and recreation along the corridor.”

The Lyons Erie Canalway Trail project will be constructed with Canal Corporation funds in partnership with Wayne County and the Village of Lyons. Features will include a new 10-foot wide asphalt trail, as well as informational and directional signage.

The Lyons Erie Canalway Trail segment is part of the statewide Erie Canalway Trail linking the Hudson River and Lake Erie. More than three-quarters of the 348-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany is now completed. A 2007 study estimated that the Erie Canalway Trail generates approximately $42 million annually in economic benefits to communities and businesses along the Trail.

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