Event to unveil canal’s restored Flight of Five

A boat moves through the double lock system on the Erie Canal in downtown at Lockport, N.Y., Aug. 24, 1993. The canal builders originally built two five-lock flights to lower eastbound and raise westbound boats simultaneously through the Niagara escarpment. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
A boat moves through the double lock system on the Erie Canal in downtown at Lockport, N.Y., Aug. 24, 1993. The canal builders originally built two five-lock flights to lower eastbound and raise westbound boats simultaneously through the Niagara escarpment. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) — The restoration of a series of Erie Canal locks known as the Flight of Five is nearing completion, and officials in a western New York community are planning a summertime event to celebrate.

The Buffalo News reports (http://bit.ly/1qZVJXT ) that the Lockport Locks Heritage District Committee has chosen July 5 for the grand opening celebration for the 19th century canal infrastructure being restored for nearly $1.75 million.

The series of five stair-step locks was used after the canal opened in 1825. They allowed canal boats to overcome the 60-foot change in elevation created by the Niagara escarpment.

The Flight of Five went out of use by boats after the current two large steel locks were installed a century ago. Since then, the Flight of Five has been used only as a spillway.

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