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Restoration of Lockport's Flight of Five Locks begins

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The decade-long push in Lockport to restore the Flight of Five Locks has finally paid off. State and local elected leaders launched Phase One of the project Wednesday morning. By allowing mariners to overcome the 60-foot change in elevation created by the Niagara escarpment, the Flight of Five was an engineering wonder when the Erie Canal opened in 1825. City of Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker says the goal is to get them back in working order. 

"With wood gates, with arms, just the way it was back when it was built in the 1800s," said Tucker.

Tucker says he believes the $3 million project will be an economic driver by helping to draw more tourists to Lockport.

"Once the Flight of Five is restored to its full capacity, it will be the only place in the whole canal system, the whole State of New York, maybe the whole entire world, where the old technology and the new technology will be working side by side," Tucker said.

Restoration work is expected to get underway later this month and take about a year to complete.

An artist rendering of the proposed gate between locks 67 and 68