Work resumes on Camillus aqueduct

A project to restore the Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct at Camillus Erie Canal Park has resumed after a six-month winter hiatus, and is slated to be completed by Oct. 31.

More than 100 timbers, each 74 1/2 feet long, were delivered several truck loads from Unadilla Products last week. They will form the trunk of trunk of the aqueduct which will once again carry the canal across Nine Mile Creek. When completed, boats will be able to travel two miles, from DeVoe Road to Route 173, where a new boat house is also being erected.

The $2.5 million project began last September when Vector Construction Co. cleaned tons of muck and debris that had accumulated beneath each of three arches for more than a century. The laminated timbers are eight inches wide and 18 inches thick and are treated with pentachlorophenol, a preservative. David Beebe, director of Camillus Erie Canal Park, said the timbers should last for at least 50 years. "I probably won't be around that long to worry about it," he quipped.

Camillus Erie Canal Park was created in 1972, and ever since then it has been the dream of Beebe, Fenton Hanchett, and many others associated with the park to see the aqueduct restored. Beebe said it would be the only operational aqueduct on the entire Erie Canal system.

Plans also include building a dock and ramp a short distance east of the aqueduct so tours of both the existing aqueduct and the nearby site of the original 1820 aqueduct can be conducted.

Richard palmer

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