Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ottawa portion of Illinois & Michigan Canal could be re-watered in 2017

I&M Canal at Ottawa
Here's an update on the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Last autumn, in honor of the thirtieth anniversary of Ronald Reagan signing into law the creation of the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor, I traveled through most of it and blogged about it.

One of the dry segments of the canal is in Ottawa. But that may change.

From MyWebTimes:
The summer of 2017 now is the target time for an Illinois National Guard engineer unit to excavate, grade and prepare sections of the long-dry canal bed to again hold water.

The nonprofit Ottawa Canal Association hope to re-water the 2,900-foot dry section of the canal between Guion and Walnut streets with three feet of water, so it can be used as a tourist draw and for recreational purposes, such as kayaking.

In 2012, the Ottawa City Council voted down seeking a state grant for the re-watering project — hesitating at paying a 20 percent share of the grant amount. The next year, the OCA approached the Illinois National Guard to see if the canal project could be a match for an annual two-week training session for the 766th Engineer Battalion headquartered in Decatur.
The Guard was already committed for projects, but things are clearly looking up for 2017.

Related posts:

I&M Canal NHC at 30--an 18 post series

Illinois & Michigan Canal at 30: Ottawa

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