Created: 10/10/2013 6:35 AM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press
Construction is about to begin on restoration of the historic flight of locks in Lockport at the western end of the Erie Canal.
Originally opened in 1825, the so-called "Flight of Five" allowed mariners to overcome the 60-foot change in elevation created by the Niagara escarpment.
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton joined local officials on Wednesday to celebrate the project. He called the flight of locks "one of the crown jewels of New York's canal system."
Water still flows through the 18-foot-wide unused locks today but they've accumulated sediment and debris.
Enlarged, electrically operated locks were built in the early 20th century and the old locks were abandoned.
The canal system also has a flight of five locks at Waterford where the Mohawk River meets the Hudson.