|I&M Canal at Ottawa|
One of the dry segments of the canal is in Ottawa. But that may change.
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 Guard was already committed for projects, but things are clearly looking up for 2017.
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.
I&M Canal NHC at 30--an 18 post series
Illinois & Michigan Canal at 30: Ottawa