The Erie Canal spans from where Albany meets the Hudson River to where Buffalo meets Lake Erie. When completed in 1825, the 363 mile Erie Canal was the second longest canal in the world.
Construction began at Rome, NY in 1817. The canal has 34 locks, with an elevation difference of 565 feet.
When it opened, the canal cut transportation costs by 95%. 1855 was the canal’s peak year, when 33,000 shipments took place.
The last large commercial ship retired in 1994, and the canal has seen mostly recreational traffic since. 42 commercial shipments took place in 2008.