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The Erie Canal is a canal in New York that originally ran about 363 miles (584 km) from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie. Built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, the canal helped New York eclipse Philadelphia as the largest city and port on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The canal is now part of the New York State Canal System.
First proposed in 1807, its construction began in 1817. The canal contains 36 locks and a total elevation differential of about 565 feet. It opened on October 26, 1825.