WATERFORD A large underwater axle broke on Lock 2 in Waterford this morning, forcing the Canal Corp. to close the flight of locks and blocking the Erie Canal's eastern entrance.
The flight of locks is where the Hudson River and the Champlain Canal meet the Erie Canal.
Only two boaters’ trips were delayed, said Shane Mahar, a state Canal Corporation spokesman. They were trying to enter the Erie Canal and docked at the Waterford Visitors Center.
Canal Corp. workers discovered the break shortly before 8:23 a.m. and a notice was sent to boaters warning them of the temporary closure.
The axel is 7-by-9 feet and weighs about 10,000 pounds. When the axel broke, it blocked a valve gate from being lifted and lowered, Mahar said.
Canal Corp. crews worked with Seaway Diving and Salvage of Waterford, an emergency contractor of the state, to make a temporary fix and will fix the break permanently in the coming days, Mahar said.
The two boaters were able to drive through the lock at about 12:30 p.m. and the lock was expected to reopen to boaters shortly thereafter.