Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Once the contract is awarded, the contractor will be expected to start construction within 10 days. According to Mahar, that means construction work on the locks should start in the last week of August or the first week of September. The target completion date is June 2014.
Canal Corp. is supervising construction because the locks are state property, but it is not contributing to the project budget. The City of Lockport is footing the bill to develop a tourist attraction and, by written agreement with Canal Corp., will be responsible for maintaining the improved locks and operating the attraction. The gist is to show people how boat traffic was moved through the locks back in the day, by manual opening and closing of the chambers. An 1860s period-accurate wooden canal packet boat is being commissioned for use in the demonstrations.
The two-locks project is undertaken in the hope that it attracts charitable funding for restoration of locks 67, 68 and 71 in the Flight series. By project engineer Bergmann Associates’ latest current-dollar estimate, that’ll cost another $8 million. Backers are trusting that, once funders can see what the money buys, grants will be easier to land.