Put-in-Bay Transit Canal  To Be Completed in 2022 cost Of 30 Million Dollars

It’s now official! The highly debated and long-discussed“Put-in-Bay transit canal” transversing the east-side waterway at Perry’s Monument will finally become a reality in 2022. The Village of Put-in-Bay planning commission, Homeland Security, the National Parks System the local Put-in-Bay Port Authority, Department of Public Safety and the Corps of Engineers from the United States recently approved over $8 million in funding for the project.

According to the Put-in-Bay Visitors And Convention Bureau construction will begin at the completion of the 2020 season and will occur at the same time as the construction of the $30,000,000 rebuilding project of the seawall at the Monument. Officials have promised to minimize disruption to the regular Put-in-Bay tourism season and to the local islanders who must travel this route on a daily basis.

The funding for the project comes from low-interest loans, federal grant money and matching funds from the local chamber of commerce. The federal government will fund the majority of the local project with a grant transferring funds from the  Clean Lake Erie Initiative with the support of the EPA. Originally earmarked for the removal of algae blooms in the Western Basin of Lake Erie these matching funds will come from a variety of sources that will be named once bids for the project are opened and the exact price is known.

Put-in-Bay Transit Canal Approvals and Assistance

The South Bass Island Chamber of Commerce, Put-in-Bay Property owners group the Put-in-Bay Senior Center, the Safe Island Task Forces, the Put-in-Bay Township Commissioners, Kellys Island Chamber of Commerce,  Recuse Marine Service on Marblehead, the International Ferryboat League, the Lake Erie Fishermen’s Association and the Put-in-Bay Boater’s & Marina Information have all voiced their approval of the much-needed project.

While the new project will split South Bass Island into two individual islands, the benefits far outweigh any negatives, of which there are none to be found. Homeland Security wanted to cut travel time for its fast response law enforcement and patrol vessels patrolling the waters around the popular Lake Erie Islands. By not having to go around South Bass Island’s East Point and Ballast Island by the green can, the vessels coming from the mainland to answer critical emergency calls in the local harbor at Put-in-Bay will save precious minutes, wear and tear on the boats, fuel and in many cases, lives. even lives.

One Homeland Security official said the security of the Lake Erie islands is a top priority due to the lack of a border wall separating the Canadian. and the United States Borders.

Flooding and Sewers

Highway officials at Put-in-By will now be able to resolve the ever-present road flooding problem and assure high dry roads across the narrow isthmus where Perry’s Monument rises on Federal Land. Fill removed from the canal will be used to raise the roadway and reinforce the seawalls. A toll bridge that will be located at the Put-in-Bay harbor entrance to the new channel. The bridge toll collection and bridge operations responsibility will be turned over to the village of Put-in-Bay. The tolls collected will help pay for the project and fund the maintenance.

The council and Mayor of Put-in-Bay are pleased about the canal project due to the promoters agreeing to share a portion of bridge tolls so sewer and water service can be extended to all of East Point. This benefits all island businesses including the Put-in-Bay hotels which are generally sold out all summer. Perry’s Monument officials say the project will be a positive impact on the experience visitors will have when they go to the top of Perry’s Monument. Not only will they be able to look out over the Lake Erie, but watch down as the ships pass through the Put-in-Bay Transit Canal.

Ferry Responses

Jet Express and Miller Boat Line officials had no comments on the new Put-in-Bay Transit Canal as the last-minute announcement was news to them. Our fine investigative team and editorial staff do believe that both boat lines, as well as the  Goodtime tour boat, will certainly welcome the new shorter route to downtown Put-in-Bay drop off points. The time for Jet Express and Goodtime trips from Kellys Island and Sandusky will be cut by 30%.

Add the fuel and labor cost savings and the canal becomes a no brainer for them. Muller’s ferry to Middle Bass often goes around the east side of South Bass when strong winds blow from the southwest. With the canal, ferries coming up the east side of the island can hug the leeward shore for protection, plus take a shortcut through the canal to Middle Bass.

The Put-in-Bay Port Authority approved the Put-in-Bay Transit Canal plan because all vessels, state, federal, private and commercial as well as federal, state, personal watercraft(jet skis, wave runners, kayaks, canoes, etc.) will be able to utilize the new canal at the same low rates.

Put-in-Bay Transit Canal Government Approvals

The Army Corps of Engineers in an official press release today announced the canal would help to level out water levels between the east side of Perry’s Monument and Put-in-Bay Harbor. The syncing water levels between two bodies of water has never been possible and has been a problem since the completion of the construction of Perry’s Monument more than 100 years ago.

East Point Residents will be pleased because they will now be able to get to and from their East Point homes without going through floodwaters that plagued the local road. Residents may now register their vehicles and get stickers for their vehicles for the free use of the toll bridge. The project should also cut down on Put-in-Bay golf rentals cart traffic on East Point due to the proposed $5 toll for non-residents wanting to drive across the lift bridge.

Golf cart rental companies are pleased with the news of raising the local highway. Breakdowns of golf carts rode this past season when tourists tried to drive carts through the flooded streets. Repairs and cart downtime saw some of the cart companies scrambling. The fill extracted from the canal to raise the road in front of the Monument will also be used to raise the roadway at the Miller Marina corner downtown where road flooding is also a serious issue.

Patience During The Canal Construction

During the construction project, there will be a temporary bridge floating on the water to serve as a detour for vehicles wanting to access East Point. “We’ve thought of everything, so there will be no inconvenience to anyone resident while work on the  new canal is underway.” As anyone can see, there is absolutely no downside when it comes to building the new canal.

Promoters have announced there will be a contest with a cash prize to name the canal, plus a “Canal Opening” and “First Boat” ceremony is being planned. Watch for details in an upcoming edition of the Put-in-Bay Gazette. What’s next? Officials are still working on a cut through isthmus on Middle Bass Island for many of the same reasons. The final word on this project will most likely come when the canal splitting South Bass Island is completed and much more is know about the process


  • Length – 150 Yards
  • Depth – 20 Ft.
  • Width 50ft
  • Cost – $30 Million less few Overrides
  • Operating Season March Thru October
  • Bridge Type – Boeing LUXE Extended Lift Model 5-395
  • Construction Start Date – November 2020
  • Construction End Date – April 2021
  • Bridge Type – Boeing LUXE Extended Lift Model 5-395