• Historic Lock 19 Project


  • A Model of True Collaboration

    Project initiated as 2012 Canal Clean Sweep event

    Clifton Park town officials joined the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County and community partners to offiCially open the Historic Lock 19 Footbridge on Monday, April 29. The new bridge, built with help from several local companies and students from Shenendehowa High School, offers the public the first access between the lock's dual chambers in many years.

    The footbridge was built at no expense to taxpayers. Volunteer engineers, contractors, chamber officials and students all donated their time and resources to make the project possible. Significant
    cleaning and clearing of brush was completed before the project was even possible.

    'The new Historic Lock 19 Footbridge provides unprecedented public access to an important part of Clifton Park's heritage,' Town Supervisor Phil Barrett said. 'Clifton Park is fortunate to have an active chamber, many dedicated volunteers and local companies who are committed to improving our community. The Town Board thanks everyone who worked to bring this project to fruition .'

    The project started in April 2012 as part of Canal Clean Sweep events. Once volunteers cleared overgrown brush from the Lock 19 area, 80 Shenendehowa high school students worked under the
    supervision of professional engineers to design, construct and promote the footbridge. Construction was completed late last year.

    Douglas Ford, the 2012 chairman of the chamber's Board of Directors, was an integral part of the project. Ford is the Director of Sales and Operations at Curtis Lumber, which donated the majority of - the materials used on the bridge.

    'It was a privilege to work with our business partners, students and Supervisor Barrett's Town Hall team to make a real tangible difference right here in our community,' said Chamber of Southern
    Saratoga President and CEO Pete Bardunias. 'This public-private partnership is unique in our Chamber's history and is something that should form a template for similar activity in the years ahead.'

    More than 1,700 volunteer hours and tens of thousands of dollars worth of donated material and labor went into the project. Community partners included:

    • Turner Construction,
    • Curtis Lumber,
    • Momentive Performance Materials,
    • SMRT Architects and Engineers,
    • GE Power and Water,
    • William J. Keller and Sons Construction,
    • AJS Masonry,
    • Shenendehowa Central Schools,
    • Gil Van Guilder Land Surveyors,
    • Siena Fence Company,
    • County Waste,
    • Trex, Legacy Timber Frames
    • The New York State Canal Corporation.

    Historic Lock 19, located in the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve, was part , of the 1842 enlarging of the Erie Public access to the lock is via a trail at the end of Ferry Drive.
    Ribbon cutting of historic lock 19 project
    Many community partners contributed to the construction of awooden bridge providing public access to historic Erie Canal Lock 19.

    Front Row from left to right: Phil Barrett- Town of Clifton Park Supervisor, Doug Ford - Chamber of
    Southern Saratoga County and Curtis Lumber, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, Mike Mansion - Office of  Senator Hugh Farley, Pete Bardunias - Chamber of Southern Saratoga County CEO/President, Dr. L. Oliver Robinson - Shenendehowa Central School District Superintendent, Jean Lorch - Shenendehowa High School Administrator, Brian Stratton - NYS Canal Corporation Director, Jim Wachala - Chamber of Southern Saratoga County and Turner Construction. Download printer friendly version of this article published by The Canalway Trail Times.

    Photo Gallery: Lock 19 Canal Clean Sweep 


    On August 15, 2012 key partners in the Lock 19 project broke ground for the new bridge, picnic area, and observation platform

    August 15, 2012 key partners in the Lock 19 project broke ground for the new bridge, picnic area, and observation platform. 

    Historic view of Lock 19

    Historic view of Lock 19, part of the 1842 enlarging of the Erie Canal in the hamlet of Vischer Ferry, was almost lost in the woods on the fringes of the Nature Preserve. Thanks to an army of Chamber partners and volunteers this storied structure is now a place to visit and explore.

    Lock 19 before the clean up

    Lock 19 before the clean up - Crews from the Town of Clifton Park, County Waste, and volunteers from the community removed trees and overgrowth to begin restoring the historic site. 

    Lock 19 Clean Up with Canal Commissioner Brian Stratton

    Lock 19 Clean Up Project with Canal Commissioner Brian Stratton and Pete Bardunias

    Clean Up with Jim Wachala and Mike Williams

    Lock 19 Clean Up with Jim Wachala and fellow clean up Volunteer

    Lock Clean Up Pete Bardunias and Barb McHugh

    Lock 19 Clean Up with Pete Bardunias and Barb McHugh

    Lock 19 Clean up with Dan Kumlander

    Lock 19 clean up with Dan Kumlander


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