Erie Canal

December 2004
ENR: Engineering News-Record;Dec2004 Construction Facts, Vol. 253, p39
Trade Publication
This article presents information regarding the Erie Canal. The 365-mile long waterway connecting the Hudson River with Lake Erie was the major artery linking eastern markets to the Midwest before railroads. It was 40 ft wide at the top, 28 ft at the bottom, and 4 ft deep. Eighty-three locks lowered boats traveling west to east 627 vertical feet. Local farmers were contracted to build the initial sections, but permanent work crews developed, drawing laborers from far away. The project sparked innovations, including a stump-pulling machine with 16-ft-dia wheels, as well as a horse-operated boom or crane.


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