Fast Facts

Start of construction 1817 in Rome, NY
Grand Opening of Erie Canal 1825
Opening of Champlain Canal 1823
Length, Albany to Buffalo (original Erie Canal) 363 miles
Number of locks, 1825 83
Number of locks, present day 57
Elevation change, Albany to Buffalo 571 feet
Canal dimensions, 1825 Original Erie 4 ft deep x 40 ft wide; locks 90 ft long
Canal dimensions, 1862 Enlarged Erie 7 ft deep x 70 ft wide; lock 110 ft long
Canal dimensions, 1918- present Erie Barge Canal 12-23 ft deep x 120-200 ft wide; locks 310 ft long
Cost to build $7,143,789
Return on Investment 10 years
Number of aqueducts to bypass rivers and streams 18
Travel time from Albany to Buffalo, 1825 5 days
Travel time from Albany to Buffalo by Stagecoach 2 weeks
Rate of pay for a canal laborer, 1825 80 cents - $1 per day
Year “Low Bridge, Everybody Down ” published by Tin Pan Alley songwriter Thomas Allen 1905

National Historic Landmark

The Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca canals were enlarged to their current dimensions between 1905 and 1918. The waterway is a National Historic Landmark.