I) The Champlain Canal
The Champlain Canal is one of the main canals that form the ‘New York State Canal System’. It runs from the Hudson River in the South, all the way to Whitehall at Lake Champlain in the North. The canal is estimated to be about 60 miles in length which translates to about 97 Km. The Champlain canal is one of America’s first canals and therefore forms an integral part of New York history.
II) Period of Construction
The initial construction of the Champlain canal was suggested in the year 1812. However, it was not until the year 1817 that authorization for the actual construction of the canal was made. The construction process was gradual with 12 miles being constructed by the year 1818. The following year, the canal was opened from Fort Edward to Lake Champlain. Construction went on for six years and on the 10th of September 1823, the Champlain canal was officially opened.
III) Actual construction by the government
The construction of the Champlain Canal was a project of the government. Upon the conception of the idea to build the canal, the legislature of New York passed a bill in the year 1817 which appropriated funds and created a committee to build a navigable waterway connecting the Lower Hudson River with Lake Champlain. This was done to enhance trade and facilitate export of raw materials from the Hudson valley.
The New York canals website provides useful information regarding the history, construction and usefulness of the Champlain canal, pointing out how it opened up vital shipping routes and how it now provides scenic sites and major tourist attraction along the Hudson River.