Tonawanda is Erie Canal Terminus Once Again

May 29, 2008

In a strange twist of fate, or perhaps fact, Tonawanda is once again the Western Terminus of the Erie Canal, kind of.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger reported that legislation that is designed to “clarify” the definition of the Erie Canal that was just changed in August 2007 has been passed by the State Legislature. “Before there was one definition of the Erie Canal,” Schimminger said, “now there are two.”

The legislation (A.9442/S.6505) “corrects technical flaws” in last year’s legislation and returns the description of the navigable portion of the Erie Canal to the definition that was in place as of January 1, 2007, which defines the Erie Canal as beginning in Waterford and ending in Tonawanda, Schimminger noted. The bill, which was passed by the Assembly in January, was given final legislative approval by the State Senate yesterday. The measure now goes to the Governor for his consideration.

“Even though Tonawanda and Waterford are once again recognized as the termini of the navigable Erie Canal, there is also a ‘statutory’ definition that remains on the books that defines the canal as beginning in Albany and ending in Buffalo,” Schimminger concluded. “This so-called clarification actually makes things more confusing. But I suppose we can take some pride in knowing that Western New York is now the home of the two western termini of the Erie Canal.”