Flat Rock Assembly Plant
Flat Rock Assembly Plant known as Ford's Michigan Casting Center, Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA and AutoAlliance International, is a Ford Motor Company assembly plant located at 1 International Drive in Flat Rock, Michigan in Metro Detroit. The plant comprises 2,900,000 square feet of production space and employs 3,510 hourly workers and 140 salaried workers — and manufactures the Ford Mustang coupe and the tenth generation Lincoln Continental. Following three years of work and the largest single investment by Ford, the Michigan Casting Center opened in January 1972, at the time one of the most technologically advanced casting facilities in the world. Despite the sizable capital investment, frequent union labor problems and work injuries and declining demand for the V8 engine blocks produced there led to the facility's closure in 1981. A worker, Robert Williams, was killed by an industrial robot arm on January 25, 1979, he is the first known human to be killed by a robot. Mazda Motor Corporation started construction of a new building on the site of the Michigan Casting Center in 1985 and cars started production at Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA in September 1987 with the Mazda MX-6 and Ford Probe coupes.
In 1991 the plant had 3,600 employees, including 250 Japanese employees. Ford repurchased a 50% share in the plant on April 15, 1992, it became a joint-venture and was renamed AutoAlliance International on July 1, 1992; the plant began production of all models of the Mazda 626 sold in America starting in 1993. During this era, Deepak Ahuja was Chief Financial Officer of the joint venture; the Ford Contour-derived Mercury Cougar was produced at the plant from 1998 to 2002. Production of North American Mazda 6 began in the 2003 model year, followed by the Ford Mustang starting in 2005; the last Mazda 6 rolled off the line on Friday, August 24, 2012, with Mazda discontinuing production on American soil ending the 20 year joint-venture between Mazda and Ford. Mazda moved production of the Mazda 6 back to the Hofu factory in Japan and opened a new factory in Salamanca, Mexico to build the Mazda 2 and Mazda 3 subcompact and compact cars. On September 10, 2012, Ford Motor Company re-took full management control of the plant, renaming it the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant, confirming $555 million in investments designed to retool the plant for the production of the 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan.
On July 15, 2015, Ford confirmed that the new 2017 Lincoln Continental sedan would be produced at the Flat Rock plant starting in 2016. On January 3, 2017, Ford announced that it will begin manufacturing an electric small SUV by 2020, a high passenger volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing by 2021, both to be built at Flat Rock. Ford Mustang Lincoln Continental Mazda MX-6 Ford Probe Mazda 626 Mercury Cougar Mazda 6 Ford Fusion Fucini, Joseph J. Working for the Japanese. Simon & Schuster, June 30, 2008. ISBN 1439106487, 9781439106488; the section starting at p. 101 discusses Japanese employees from Mazda working in the Flat Rock Assembly Plant along with Americans in the 1980s
The Detroit metropolitan area referred to as Metro Detroit, is a major metropolitan area in the U. S. State of Michigan, consisting of the city of its surrounding area. There are varied definitions of the area, including the official statistical areas designated by the Office of Management and Budget, a federal agency of the United States. Metro Detroit is known for its automotive heritage, entertainment, popular music, sports; the area includes a variety of natural landscapes and beaches, with a recreational coastline linking the Great Lakes. Metro Detroit has one of the largest metropolitan economies in the U. S. with seventeen Fortune 500 companies. The Detroit Urban Area, which serves as the metropolitan area's core, ranks as the 11th most populous in the United States, with a population of 3,734,090 as of the 2010 census and an area of 1,337.16 square miles. This urbanized area covers parts of the counties of Macomb and Wayne; these counties are sometimes referred to as the Detroit Tri-County Area and had a population of 3,862,888 as of the 2010 census with an area of 1,967.1 square miles.
The Office of Management and Budget, a federal agency of the United States, defines the Detroit–Warren–Dearborn Metropolitan Statistical Area as the six counties of Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Wayne; as of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 4,296,250 with an area of 3,913 square miles. The nine county area designated by the OMB as the Detroit–Warren–Ann Arbor Combined Statistical Area includes the Detroit–Warren–Dearborn MSA and the three additional counties of Genesee and Washtenaw, it covers an area of 5,814 square miles. Lenawee County was removed from the CSA in 2000, but added back in 2013. With the adjacent city of Windsor and its suburbs, the combined Detroit–Windsor area has a population of about 5.7 million. When the nearby Toledo metropolitan area and its commuters are taken into account, the region constitutes a much larger population center. An estimated 46 million people live within a 300-mile radius of Detroit proper. Metro Detroit is at the center of an emerging Great Lakes Megalopolis.
Conan Smith, a businessperson quoted in a 2012 article by The Ann Arbor News, stated the most significant reason Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, is not included in definitions of Metro Detroit is that there is a "lack of affinity that Washtenaw County as a whole has with Wayne County and Detroit or Oakland County and Macomb". Ann Arbor is nearly 43 miles by car from downtown Detroit, developed separately as a university city, with its own character. Smith said that county residents "just don't yet see ourselves as a natural part of that region, so I think it feels a little forced to a lot of people, they're scared about it". Detroit and the surrounding region constitute a major center of commerce and global trade, most notably as home to America's'Big Three' automobile companies: General Motors and Chrysler. Detroit's six-county Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of about 4.3 million and a workforce of about 2.1 million. In December 2017, the Department of Labor reported metropolitan Detroit's unemployment rate at 4.2%.
The Detroit MSA had a Gross Metropolitan Product of $252.7 billion as of September 2017. Firms in the region pursue emerging technologies including biotechnology, information technology, hydrogen fuel cell development. Metro Detroit is one of the leading health care economies in the U. S. according to a 2003 study measuring health care industry components, with the region's hospital sector ranked fourth in the nation. Casino gaming plays an important economic role, with Detroit the largest US city to offer casino resort hotels. Caesars Windsor, Canada's largest, complements the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, Greektown Casino in the city; the casino hotels contribute significant tax revenue along with thousands of jobs for residents. Gaming revenues have grown with Detroit ranked as the fifth-largest gambling market in the United States for 2007; when Casino Windsor is included, Detroit's gambling market ranks either fourth. There are about four thousand factories in the area; the domestic auto industry is headquartered in Metro Detroit.
The area is an important source of engineering job opportunities. A rise in automated manufacturing using robotic technology has created related industries in the area. A 2004 Border Transportation Partnership study showed that 150,000 jobs in the Detroit–Windsor region and $13 billion in annual production depend on the city's international border crossing. In addition to property taxes, residents of the City of Detroit pay an income tax rate of 2.50%. Detroit automakers and local manufacturers have made significant restructurings in response to market competition. GM made its initial public offering of stock in 2010, after bankruptcy and restructuring by the federal government. Domestic automakers reported significant profits in 2010, interpreted by some analysts as the beginning of an industry rebound and an economic recovery for the Detroit area; the region's nine-county area, with its population of 5.3 million, has a workforce of about 2.6 million and about 247,000 businesses. Fourteen Fortune 500 companies are based in metropolitan Detroit.
In April 2015, the metropolitan Detroit unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, a rate lower than the New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta metropolitan areas. Metro Detroit has made Michigan's economy a leader in information technology and advanced
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U. S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy; the Census Bureau is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States; the Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U. S. Census every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U. S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population; the Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, businesses make informed decisions. The information provided by the census informs decisions on where to build and maintain schools, transportation infrastructure, police and fire departments. In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau continually conducts dozens of other censuses and surveys, including the American Community Survey, the U. S. Economic Census, the Current Population Survey.
Furthermore and foreign trade indicators released by the federal government contain data produced by the Census Bureau. Article One of the United States Constitution directs the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College; the Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a zero and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population projections. In addition, Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and more; the Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code.
The Census Bureau conducts surveys on behalf of various federal government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, health, consumer expenditures, housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial population counts; the Census Bureau conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail and other establishments and of domestic governments. Between 1790 and 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the judicial districts; the Census Act of 1840 established a central office. Several acts followed that revised and authorized new censuses at the 10-year intervals. In 1902, the temporary Census Office was moved under the Department of Interior, in 1903 it was renamed the Census Bureau under the new Department of Commerce and Labor; the department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department. An act in 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every two years and agriculture censuses every 10 years.
In 1929, a bill was passed mandating the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 Census. In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the US Code. By law, the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U. S. President by December 31 of any year ending in a zero. States within the Union receive the results in the spring of the following year; the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions. The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis". The Census Bureau definition is pervasive. Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau: Region 1: Northeast Division 1: New England Division 2: Mid-Atlantic Region 2: Midwest Division 3: East North Central Division 4: West North Central Region 3: South Division 5: South Atlantic Division 6: East South Central Division 7: West South Central Region 4: West Division 8: Mountain Division 9: Pacific Many federal, state and tribal governments use census data to: Decide the location of new housing and public facilities, Examine the demographic characteristics of communities and the US, Plan transportation systems and roadways, Determine quotas and creation of police and fire precincts, Create localized areas for elections, utilities, etc.
Gathers population information every 10 years The United States Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information related to individuals or establishments. Title 13 of the U. S. Code establishes penalties for the disclosure of this information. All Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to employment; the Bureau cannot share responses, addresses or personal information with anyone including United States or foreign government
A city is a large human settlement. Cities have extensive systems for housing, sanitation, land use, communication, their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process. City-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability. Present-day cities form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centers for employment and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are in different degree connected globally beyond these regions; the most populated city proper is Chongqing while the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, the Shanghai area, Jabodetabek. The cities of Faiyum and Varanasi are among those laying claim to longest continual inhabitation.
A city is distinguished from other human settlements by its great size, but by its functions and its special symbolic status, which may be conferred by a central authority. The term can refer either to the physical streets and buildings of the city or to the collection of people who dwell there, can be used in a general sense to mean urban rather than rural territory. A variety of definitions, invoking population, population density, number of dwellings, economic function, infrastructure, are used in national censuses to classify populations as urban. Common population definitions for a city range between 1,500 and 50,000 people, with most U. S. states using a minimum between 5,000 inhabitants. However, some jurisdictions set no such minimums. In the United Kingdom, city status is awarded by the government and remains permanently, resulting in some small cities, such as Wells and St Davids. According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but by the role it plays within a larger political context.
Cities serve as administrative, commercial and cultural hubs for their larger surrounding areas. Examples of settlements called city which may not meet any of the traditional criteria to be named such include Broad Top City and City Dulas, Anglesey, a hamlet; the presence of a literate elite is sometimes included in the definition. A typical city has professional administrators and some form of taxation to support the government workers; the governments may be based on heredity, military power, work projects such as canal building, food distribution, land ownership, commerce, finance, or a combination of these. Societies that live in cities are called civilizations; the word city and the related civilization come, via Old French, from the Latin root civitas meaning citizenship or community member and coming to correspond with urbs, meaning city in a more physical sense. The Roman civitas was linked with the Greek "polis"—another common root appearing in English words such as metropolis. Urban geography deals both with their internal structure.
Town siting has varied through history according to natural, technological and military contexts. Access to water has long been a major factor in city placement and growth, despite exceptions enabled by the advent of rail transport in the nineteenth century, through the present most of the world's urban population lives near the coast or on a river. Urban areas as a rule cannot produce their own food and therefore must develop some relationship with a hinterland which sustains them. Only in special cases such as mining towns which play a vital role in long-distance trade, are cities disconnected from the countryside which feeds them. Thus, centrality within a productive region influences siting, as economic forces would in theory favor the creation of market places in optimal mutually reachable locations; the vast majority of cities have a central area containing buildings with special economic and religious significance. Archaeologists refer to this area by the Greek term temenos; these spaces reflect and amplify the city's centrality and importance to its wider sphere of influence.
Today cities have downtown, sometimes coincident with a central business district. Cities have public spaces where anyone can go; these include owned spaces open to the public as well as forms of public land such as public domain and the commons. Western philosophy since the time of the Greek agora has considered physical public space as the substrate of the symbolic public sphere. Public art adorns public spaces. Parks and other natural sites within cities provide residents with relief from the hardness and regularity of typical built environments. Urban structure follows one or more basic patterns: geomorphic, concentric and curvilinear. Physical environment constrains the form in which a city is built. If located on a mountainside, urban structure may rely on winding roads, it may be adapted to its means of subsistence. And it may be set up for optimal defense given the surrounding landscape. Beyond these "geomorphi
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River, its capital is Lansing, its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's largest metropolitan economies. Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas; the Lower Peninsula is noted as shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan; the Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas. The state has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair; as a result, it is one of the leading U.
S. states for recreational boating. Michigan has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. A person in the state is never more than six miles from a natural water source or more than 85 miles from a Great Lakes shoreline; the area was first occupied by a succession of Native American tribes over thousands of years. Inhabited by Natives, Métis, French explorers in the 17th century, it was claimed as part of New France colony. After France's defeat in the French and Indian War in 1762, the region came under British rule. Britain ceded this territory to the newly independent United States after Britain's defeat in the American Revolutionary War; the area was part of the larger Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Michigan Territory was formed in 1805, but some of the northern border with Canada was not agreed upon until after the War of 1812. Michigan was admitted into the Union in 1837 as a free one, it soon became an important center of industry and trade in the Great Lakes region and a popular immigrant destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Although Michigan developed a diverse economy, it is known as the center of the U. S. automotive industry, which developed as a major economic force in the early 20th century. It is home to the country's three major automobile companies. While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is important for tourism thanks to its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center of manufacturing, agriculture and high-tech industry; when the first European explorers arrived, the most populous tribes were Algonquian peoples, which include the Anishinaabe groups of Ojibwe, Odaawaa/Odawa, the Boodewaadamii/Bodéwadmi. The three nations co-existed peacefully as part of a loose confederation called the Council of Three Fires; the Ojibwe, whose numbers are estimated to have been between 25,000 and 35,000, were the largest. The Ojibwe were established in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern and central Michigan, inhabited Ontario and southern Manitoba, Canada; the Ottawa lived south of the Straits of Mackinac in northern and southern Michigan, but in southern Ontario, northern Ohio and eastern Wisconsin.
The Potawatomi were in southern and western Michigan, in addition to northern and central Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, southern Ontario. Other Algonquian tribes in Michigan, in the south and east, were the Mascouten, the Menominee, the Miami, the Sac, the Fox; the Wyandot were an Iroquoian-speaking people in this area. French voyageurs and coureurs des bois settled in Michigan in the 17th century; the first Europeans to reach what became Michigan were those of Étienne Brûlé's expedition in 1622. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1668 on the site where Père Jacques Marquette established Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan as a base for Catholic missions. Missionaries in 1671–75 founded outlying stations at Saint Ignace and Marquette. Jesuit missionaries were well received by the area's Indian populations, with few difficulties or hostilities. In 1679, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle built Fort Miami at present-day St. Joseph. In 1691, the French established a trading post and Fort St. Joseph along the St. Joseph River at the present-day city of Niles.
In 1701, French explorer and army officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or "Fort Pontchartrain on-the-Strait" on the strait, known as the Detroit River, between lakes Saint Clair and Erie. Cadillac had convinced King Louis XIV's chief minister, Louis Phélypeaux, Comte de Pontchartrain, that a permanent community there would strengthen French control over the upper Great Lakes and discourage British aspirations; the hundred soldiers and workers who accompanied Cadillac built a fort enclosing one arpent and named it Fort Pontchartrain. Cadillac's wife, Marie Thérèse Guyon, soon moved to Detroit, becoming one of the first European women to settle in what was considered the wilderness of Michigan; the town became a major fur-trading and shipping post. The Église de Saint-Anne was founded the same year. While the original building does not survive, the congregation remains active. Cadillac departed to serve as the French governor of Louisiana from 1710 to 1716.
French attempts to consol
Lake Erie is the fourth-largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America, the eleventh-largest globally if measured in terms of surface area. It is the southernmost and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore has the shortest average water residence time. At its deepest point Lake Erie is 210 feet deep. Situated on the International Boundary between Canada and the United States, Lake Erie's northern shore is the Canadian province of Ontario the Ontario Peninsula, with the U. S. states of Michigan, Ohio and New York on its western and eastern shores. These jurisdictions divide the surface area of the lake with water boundaries; the lake was named by a Native American people who lived along its southern shore. The tribal name "erie" is a shortened form of the Iroquoian word erielhonan, meaning "long tail". Situated below Lake Huron, Erie's primary inlet is the Detroit River; the main natural outflow from the lake is via the Niagara River, which provides hydroelectric power to Canada and the U.
S. as it spins huge turbines near Niagara Falls at New York and Queenston, Ontario. Some outflow occurs via the Welland Canal, part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which diverts water for ship passages from Port Colborne, Ontario on Lake Erie, to St. Catharines on Lake Ontario, an elevation difference of 326 ft. Lake Erie's environmental health has been an ongoing concern for decades, with issues such as overfishing, algae blooms, eutrophication generating headlines. Lake Erie has a mean elevation of 571 feet above sea level, it has a surface area of 9,990 square miles with a length of 241 statute miles and breadth of 57 statute miles at its widest points. It is the shallowest of the Great Lakes with an average depth of 10 fathoms 3 feet (63 ft and a maximum depth of 35 fathoms For comparison, Lake Superior has an average depth of 80 fathoms 3 feet (483 ft, a volume of 2,900 cubic miles and shoreline of 2,726 statute miles; because it is the shallowest, it is the warmest of the Great Lakes, in 1999 this became a problem for two nuclear power plants which require cool lake water to keep their reactors cool.
The warm summer of 1999 caused lake temperatures to come close to the 85 °F limit necessary to keep the plants cool. Because of its shallowness, in spite of being the warmest lake in the summer, it is the first to freeze in the winter; the shallowest section of Lake Erie is the western basin. The "waves build quickly", according to other accounts. Sometimes fierce waves springing up unexpectedly have led to dramatic rescues. After being trapped for an hour-and-a-half, Baker was back on dry land and battered but alive; this area is known as the "thunderstorm capital of Canada" with "breathtaking" lightning displays. Lake Erie is fed by the Detroit River and drains via the Niagara River and Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario. Navigation downstream is provided by the Welland Canal, part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Other major contributors to Lake Erie include the Grand River, the Huron River, the Maumee River, the Sandusky River, the Buffalo River, the Cuyahoga River; the drainage basin covers 30,140 square miles.
Point Pelee National Park, the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland, is located on a peninsula extending into the lake. Several islands are found in the western end of the lake. Major cities along Lake Erie include New York. Islands tend to total 31 in number; the island-village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island attracts young crowds who sometimes wear "red bucket hats" and are prone to "break off cartwheels in the park" and general merriment. Kelleys Island was depicted by the Chicago Tribune as having charms that were "more subtle" than Put-in-Bay, offers amenities such as beach lounging, biking and "marveling at deep glacial grooves left in limestone." Pelee Island is the largest of Erie's islands, accessible by ferry from Leamington and Sandusky, Ohio. The island has a "fragile and unique ecosystem" with plants found in Canada, such as wild hyacinth, yellow horse gentian and prickly pear cactus, as well as two endangered snakes, the blue racer and the Lake Erie water snake. Songbirds migrate to Pelee in spring, monarch butterflies stop over during the fall.
Lake Erie has a lake retention time of the shortest of all the Great Lakes. The lake's surface area is 9,910 square miles. Lake Erie's water level fluctuates with the seasons as in the other Great Lakes; the lowest levels are in January and February, the highest in June or July, although there have been exceptions. The average yearly level varies depending on long-term precipitation. Short-term level changes are caused by seiches that are high when southwesterly winds blow across the length of the lake during storms; these cause water to pile up at the eastern end of the l
The Erie Canal is a canal in New York, United States, part of the east–west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System. It ran 363 miles from where Albany meets the Hudson River to where Buffalo meets Lake Erie, it was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. When completed in 1825, it was the second longest canal in the world and affected the development and economy of New York, New York City, the United States; the canal was first proposed in the 1780s re-proposed in 1807. A survey was authorized and executed in 1808. Proponents of the project wore down opponents; the canal has 34 numbered locks starting with Black Rock Lock and ending downstream with the Troy Federal Lock. Both are owned by the federal government, it has an elevation difference of about 565 feet. It opened on October 26, 1825. In a time when bulk goods were limited to pack animals, there were no railways, water was the most cost-effective way to ship bulk goods.
The canal was denigrated by its political opponents as "Clinton's Folly" or "Clinton's Big Ditch". It was the first transportation system between the Eastern Seaboard and the western interior of the United States that did not require portage, it was faster than carts pulled by draft animals and cut transport costs by about 95%. The canal gave New York City's port an incomparable advantage over all other U. S. ushered in the state's 19th century political and cultural ascendancy. The canal fostered a population surge in western New York and opened regions farther west to settlement, it was enlarged between 1834 and 1862. The canal's peak year was 1855. In 1918, the western part of the canal was enlarged to become part of the New York State Barge Canal, which extended to the Hudson River running parallel to the eastern half of the Erie Canal. In 2000, the United States Congress designated the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to recognize the national significance of the canal system as the most successful and influential human-built waterway and one of the most important works of civil engineering and construction in North America.
The canal has been used by recreational watercraft since the retirement of the last large commercial ship, Day Peckinpaugh, in 1994. The canal saw a recovery in commercial traffic in 2008. From the first days of the expansion of the British colonies from the coast of North America into the heartland of the continent, a recurring problem was that of transportation between the coastal ports and the interior; this was not unique to the Americas, the problem still exists in those parts of the world where muscle power provides a primary means of transportation within a region. An ancient solution was implemented in many cultures — floating vessels move more than land vehicles since friction becomes less. Close to the seacoast, rivers provided adequate waterways, but the Appalachian Mountains, 400 miles inland, running over 1,500 miles long as a barrier range with just five places where mule trains or wagon roads could be routed, presented a great challenge. Passengers and freight had to travel overland, a journey made more difficult by the rough condition of the roads.
In 1800, it took 2-1/2 weeks to travel overland from New York to Cleveland, Ohio. The principal exportable product of the Ohio Valley was grain, a high-volume, low-priced commodity, bolstered by supplies from the coast, it was not worth the cost of transporting it to far-away population centers. This was a factor leading to farmers in the west turning their grains into whiskey for easier transport and higher sales, the Whiskey Rebellion. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it became clear to coastal residents that the city or state that succeeded in developing a cheap, reliable route to the West would enjoy economic success, the port at the seaward end of such a route would see business increase greatly. In time, projects were devised in Virginia, Maryland and deep into the coastal states; the successes of the Canal du Midi in France, Bridgewater Canal in Britain, Eider Canal in Denmark spurred on what was called in Britain "canal mania". The idea of a canal to tie the East Coast to the new western settlements was discussed as early as 1724: New York provincial official Cadwallader Colden made a passing reference to improving the natural waterways of western New York.
Gouverneur Morris and Elkanah Watson were early proponents of a canal along the Mohawk River. Their efforts led to the creation of the "Western and Northern Inland Lock Navigation Companies" in 1792, which took the first steps to improve navigation on the Mohawk and construct a canal between the Mohawk and Lake Ontario, but it was soon discovered that private financing was insufficient. Christopher Colles surveyed the Mohawk Valley, made a presentation to the New York state legislature in 1784, proposing a shorter canal from Lake Ontario; the proposal was never implemented. Jesse Hawley had envisioned encouraging the growing of large quantities of grain on the western New York plains for sale on the Eastern seaboard. However, he went bankrupt trying to ship grain to the coast. While in Canandaigua debtors' prison, Hawley began pressing for the construction of a canal along the 90-mile (140 km