As we all know by now, maintaining the towpath and watering the Canal is an endless (and sometimes elusive) task. For the latest updates on DCNR repairs to the towpath and Canal please see below: 

April 14, 2016

Canal Water and Towpath Blocked at Virginia Forrest Recreation Area

There’s good news and bad news:  Lehigh River water has watered the Canal all the way down to the Virginia Forrest Recreation Area, 29 miles south of Easton, for the first time in many years!  Unfortunately, the water now is stopped there because of the Redfield Bridge construction project just to the south of the Recreation Area.  Bi-State Construction is replacing Redfield Bridge’s collapsed abutment and deteriorated deck. This also has required that the towpath between the Virginia Forrest Recreation Area and Centre Bridge be closed.  

Because construction work is being done within the Canal prism, DCNR determined that the Canal needed to be de-watered. This project also is a good example of the utility of backup watering pumps:  the new backup pump at Centre Bridge, which was just installed at the end of March, is bringing in Delaware River water to the Canal section between Centre Bridge and New Hope.  Without this backup pump — which is part of Delaware Canal 21’s comprehensive backup pump watering plan — the long stretch of Canal between Virginia Forrest all the way down to New Hope would have needed to be de-watered.  In addition to being unsightly, each day the Canal sits empty leads to more complicated and expensive maintenance headaches down the road.  

Delaware Canal 21 also is exploring with DCNR whether coffer dams can be used more frequently during work within the Canal prism so that water flow is not disrupted below construction areas.


Banner image courtesy of Ian Kindle