Actually the NYS Canal System never fully closes.
While many sections may be drained, dewatering is the official term, large portions of the canal remain full or near full. The canal is really open 24/7, 365 days per year. about half the time it's open for navigation, the other half is closed for repairs. Many have noted that in recent times the time it's open has shrunk by almost 2 months, and it's closed more than it's open now.
That is true, but instead of complaining about this fact maybe we should understand why it happened. One conclusion we might find is that the NYS Canal System is in such bad shape from past ownership, that they simply needed more time to get it repaired.
It could also be stated this way... A safe NYS Canal Waterway & Trail System can only be operated for 5 months of the year before it needs to be shutdown to make repairs.
No matter the reason, the downtime that has to come off the Navigation Season as some of the canal repair maintenance work needs to have these condition: no water, no pedestrians, and colder weather to solidify the ground.
Here's a video put out by the NYS Canal Corporation about what they do during the winter months..when most of think the Canal is Closed.
And here's another video about a Winter 2019 Lock Repair
All of this repair work is being done so the New York State Canal System can be opened on time, for the enjoyment of millions who use it, and run through it's shorter navigation season in Upstate New York.
Or maybe the Canal System is just open until the Canal Corporation can get far enough ahead on manpower & resources to start the next major repair initiatives on a waterway in desperate need of help, fixing unsafe structures, clearing unsafe earthen embankment dams and inspecting to uncover more issues to resolve.
What do you think?