Replica Canals Behind Schedule

May 9, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 8:32 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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May 9, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 8:32 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) There are currently four major construction projects underway in Buffalo's Inner Harbor area.

One of them is the $23-million dollar creation of historically-aligned replica canals which will feature large waterways, surrounding towpaths, and pedestrian bridges.

During summer months, the canals will be used for kayaking.

Ice skaters and pond hockey tournaments are planning to use the frozen surface during winter months.

The canals are being built on the site of the old Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, and it was hoped that they would be open by this winter, but now it looks like they won't be completed until next year.

"Why the delay? Just a very complicated project and it is continuing to be delayed because of issues between us and the contractor," said Robert Gioia, chairman of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.

DiPizio Construction from Depew won the bid to build the replica canals.

Officials at Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation declined to elaborate on the problems with the contractor.

"It's a process and we are worried about the quality and that's why it is taking longer," added Thomas Dee, president of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.

It is hoped that the replica canals will be finished by spring or early summer of 2014.