Aquaduct breaks

People noticing falling water levels in the Old Erie Canal aren't imaging things, the state Canal Corporation announced July 31. The Canal Corporation released information that water levels of the system between East Syracuse and Durhamville are being lowered by about two feet to facilitate repairs at the Butternut Creek aquaduct.

Canal Corporation officials say erosion caused by recent heavy rains in the Central New York area caused a breach in the 1800s-era construction. Spokespeople say they appreciate the public's patience and understanding throughout the duration of the repair project.

This is the second time this summer the Old Erie Canal has been drained for repair. Late in May, engineers for the Canal Corporation discovered beavers had damaged wooden structures along the waterway between the towns of Lenox and Sullivan. Repairs were made in time for summer canal activities held in Canastota.

Pictured is the canal where it flows under the bridge at Bolivar Road in Chittenango, about 10 miles east of the break at Butternut Creek in DeWitt. The high water mark is the result of recent heavy rains, while the low water line is result of recent draining of the canal.

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