Bicentennial

Canal NY

This Fourth of July, New York is not only celebrating the nation's independence, but a 363-mile waterway that helped bring economic independence to Buffalo and other cities across the state. Begun on July 4, 1817, the Erie Canal opened in its entirety in 1825 - and a variety of events are planned over the next several years to celebrate this engineering marvel. WBFO's Marian Hetherly got into the bicentennial spirit by sitting down with Erie Canal historian and teaching artist Dave Ruch


Mules named Sal are hard to find these days along the Erie Canal. But almost two centuries after workers began digging its route across upstate New York, you can still see barges pushed and pulled through what some consider the first superhighway of the U.S.

As the canal prepares to celebrate its bicentennial next July, some are questioning whether the canal is still worth subsidizing.