The Erie Canal from Lock 8 in Scotia through Lock 15 in Fort Plain is scheduled to re-open for navigation, weather permitting, no later than 8 a.m. Friday, state Canal Corp. officials announced today.
Several hours later, however, the agency issued a Notice to Mariners that warned the re-opening could be delayed by heavy rains forecast for the region Thursday and Friday.
That segment of the system has been closed since heavy storms two weeks ago caused significant damage to the moveable dam system.
Boaters that have been at a standstill since the storm will be able to continue on the waterway once it's re-opened.
Contractors have been working overtime to repair damage caused by the storms to the movable gates that dam the Mohawk River from Scotia to Fort Plain. Despite the success in opening the gates as the river rose to prevent flooding, workers inspecting the dams found many components were bent out of shape by both the pressure of the fast-moving water and debris, including trees, that smashed into the framework of the movable dams.
Canal Corp. officials said the last of the moveable dams to be repaired, at Lock 10, is scheduled to be lowered back into the Mohawk River on Thursday.
If the area receives another dose of heavy rain, though, officials warned that the gates may need to be opened again, causing the canal to remain closed until the rains and subsequent high water subsides. Gates could be opened as early as noon Thursday, according to the Canal Corp.