New York State Engineer and Surveyor Preliminary Estimates for Erie Canal enlargement

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

The series consists of reports representing work histories estimating construction costs of the enlarged Erie Canal in the Western Division when construction resumed after a state fiscal crisis. Some estimates relate to contracting out repairs beginning in the 1850s or to feeder canals. Included are tables showing character of work; length; number of structures; engineer’s estimate; estimate at contract prices; amount done; and amount remaining.
1 cubic foot
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(bulk 1850-1854)
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Roughly geographical by section.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of reports or "books" representing compiled work histories that estimate cost of constructing sections of the enlarged Erie Canal. These preliminary estimates pertain to the Western Division and most were sent from the office of the division engineer to the surveyor general, and later the state engineer and surveyor, who in turn sent reports and recommendations to the Canal Contracting Board. The estimates relate to a period when construction activities resumed after a period of state fiscal crisis. Some estimates relate to contracting out for repairs that began when canal administration was reorganized in the 1850s (Chapter 329 of Laws of 1854) or to feeder canals such as the Genesee Valley Canal.

Reports done by the canal engineers include tables showing the character of work, length, number of structures, estimate of engineer, estimate at contract prices, and amount done and remaining to be done.

One bound volume labeled "Erie Canal Estimate" contains penciled drawings of excavations and measurements of slopes and depth for purposes of excavation in widening the canal bed.

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