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Tuesday, June 2, 2015
The owners of the Lockport Caves and Underground Boat Rides are looking to install a zip line from a platform near their offices to a platform on the other side of the canal ... and back. The plan seems to have the support of those it needs to make it a reality. (SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)


The owners of Lockport Caves and Underground Boat Rides have a high-flying idea to bring more tourists to the Lock City — a zip line over the canal.

The planned attraction, which would go from the north side of the Erie Canal — near the ticket office for the caves — to a platform on the south side — and then back again — has the support of the state Canal Corporation and the city Planning Board. Wednesday it will be addressed by the Common Council, where it also appears to have backing.

Mayor Anne McCaffrey said, "I think it would be a great attraction — another reason for visitors to come to Lockport. I believe the Council will also be supportive of it."

Second-Ward Alderwoman Kitty Fogle said she and her colleagues are all for it. "Even if the planning board went against it, we were going to override them," she said.

Fourth-Ward Alderman Pat Schrader supports it, as well. "I think the zip line is fantastic. I've wanted it for years." The 74-year-old says he'd likely be a customer of the attraction if it is built.

Lockport Caves co-owner Tom Callahan reportedly is itching to get the attraction built. He's hoping to have it up and running in time for the city's sesquicentennial celebration, which starts on June 27.

The Council must schedule a public hearing prior to their vote, which will delay the project slightly, but Schader said he believes they can put it on a fast track. "I see no reason why we couldn't put it on to get a public hearing ASAP."

"If the state's ready to rock-and-roll, I don't see why we don't rock-and-roll," Schrader said. "Anything like this that we bring to the city, is a big plus."

Neither Callahan nor fellow Caves co-owner Clancy Burkwit could be reached for comment.

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