At the completion of the channel that went through the Mohawk River Valley, there was already two engineering triumphs standing in the west: the Irondequiot Embankment and the Genesee River Aqueduct.
Irondequiot Embankment: Just east of Rochester there was a stream called the Irondequiot Creek that had carved out a valley. The challenge was to take the canal across the valley without adding about 150 feet of up and down lockage. The only thing that made this remotely possible was that there were several ridges that could carry the canal at least partway through the valley that the canal had to past through. James Geddes had long advocated the thinking of linking these ridges together with huge earthwork embankments that you could then run the canal across. The commissioners were hesitant to approve this idea, but since it was the only solution, so they passed it.
Irondequiot Embankment was built entirely in the season of 1822. It consisted of 3 natural ridges joined together by two man made ridges, one 1,320 feet long and the other 231 feet. The canal ran along the narrow summit for 4,950 feet, passing 76 feet above the Irondequiot Creek. Because the soil in the valley was unsuitable for such earthworks, men had to haul small mountains of earth from elsewhere in order to construct such a massive earthwork. People still were not sure that the structure would hold up; from its completion in October until the close of the 1822 season the work was drained nightly.
Genesee River Aqueduct: This aqueduct was built just a few miles further west, in Rochester. It is a stone aqueduct that carries the canal over the Geneesee River. The Genesee River Aqueduct was completed in 1823. Its combined span of 802 feet made it the second longest aqueduct on the canal.