Reservoir Lock

Old Erie Canal lock on 490 expressway near Culver Road
Old Erie Canal lock on 490 expressway near Culver Road

I took this photo through the passenger side window while Peggi was driving to the Co-op. We had to get our monthly shop in. Members save ten percent once a month, the number of times we shop there each month. The wall in front of the wall is what remains of Lock 65 on the Erie Canal as flowed through Rochester. I guess the canal didn’t exactly flow, it just sat there until they drained in the winter months.

They also called it the “Reservoir Lock” because it was connected to what is now Lake Riley, the pond at the base of Cobbs Hill. I guess barges could turn around there or rest maybe. We used to skate on the pond in the winter and I played Little League there in the summer. The canal was moved several times. The old bed became the subway line and now it is the expressway we were traveling on.

Broad Street Bridge in downtown Rochester
Broad Street Bridge in downtown Rochester

We usually leave our car in the Co-Op parking lot and walk in a big loop before shopping, sometimes up to UR, across Elmwood and back down on the west side of the river or sometimes downtown to Rochester Art Supply. Getting the canal, which runs east/west, across the Genesee River, which as you can see in this photo gets pretty wild, was no easy feat for the Irish. The lower part of the bridge in the photo above carried the canal across the river which flows south to north, an intersection of two waterways in the center of the city. And at some point they built a second layer to the bridge in order to carry cars. They canal now intersects the river in a lazy fashion in Genesee Valley Park.

There was talk of re-watering the canal in downtown Rochester but I think that fizzled. I read there is serious talk of taking the car layer off the bridge and converting the former canal bed layer to a pedestrian park. I never thought I would live to see them take the Inner Loop out so who knows.

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