The Erie Canal, finished in 1825, shortened a three-week travel time from Lake Erie to New York City to one-week. Speeding the delivery of salt, grain, and meat, from inland, to that large city and carrying port of New York worldwide trade across the Great Lakes.
Before the completion of the Erie Canal, Philadelphia was the largest most prosperous city in the United States. The project was financed by bond sales when the president refused to finance the canal. Tolls quickly paid off the project. The canal was a great success and made New York the largest most prosperous city in the United States.