New York pushes for upstate canal cleanup
New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wants General Electric Co. to dredge the silt-clogged Champlain Canal between Fort Edward and Waterford as part of its Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) cleanup of the upper Hudson River.
The Albany Times Union said the dredging would add $100 million or more to the project’s estimated $460 million price tag, but would allow commercial barge traffic on the canal again.
The newspaper said river traffic there has been nearly impossible since the early 1990s. Routine dredging was halted about a decade earlier because of the PCBs.
The 60-mile canal runs from Whitehall, at the tip of the South Bay of Lake Champlain, south to Fort Edward where it joins the Hudson and flows along the river and through a series of six locks and dams to Waterford. Parts of the canal today are as shallow as three feet, while most barges need a minimum of 12 feet.
The paper noted that traffic declined from 260,000 tons in 1987 to 80,000 tons in 1992 and then ended a decade ago.