The Travels of Tug 44

Old Plotter Kill Aqueduct - Erie Canal
Rotterdam, NY

The Plotter Kill Aqueduct was built around 1842 as part of the Enlarged Erie Canal, allowing it to cross a small gorge at Plotterkill Creek. It remained in use until around 1915 when the modern Barge Canal bypassed it.

A close-up view of the 165 year old stonework shows they built extremely well back in those days. Not a stone out of place and every joint is still perfect. The tiny holes in most arch stones show they may have been pinned to provide extra strength.

A view under the central arch shows a lot of staining, but the hand-cut stonework is still in perfect condition.

On the north side of the Aqueduct is a gentle curve in the stonework, which still holds back the berm on the side of the creek. The curves were certainly more expensive and difficult to build than square corners would have been, but the curve is stronger and has held very well.

These days, only the mule path arches still remain, and is now used to carry the heavily used bicycle path that follows the old towpath route.

In June 2007, the creek had run dry, but several small puddles fed by seepage still remained under the Plotter Kill Aqueduct. Notice the really crystal clear water has many minnows in it ... see the little dark streaks.

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