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Stone stairs at Whirlpool State Park back open

The newly reconstructed stairs at Whirlpool State Park in Niagara Falls are back open to the public, after being closed for construction since the fall.

The stairs take visitors down into the Niagara Gorge, just downstream of the falls.

State parks officials said the work on the stairs was completed nearly a month ahead of schedule and that some site work remains unfinished.

The original stairs were built during the Depression and were crumbling badly when they were closed off for repairs. The project, which involved replaced 300 linear feet of the stairs, was expected to cost $387,000.

Descend the old stone steps, and you’re in another world, one without cars, restaurants or souvenirs. There is a path and a torrential river, nearly 200 feet deep, heaving itself toward the more placid waters of Lake Ontario. It’s one of the great secrets of Niagara tourism.

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