So far the water has remained for several weeks. We are enjoying seeing a somewhat filled canal. Join us for canal clean up next Saturday, April 13th at 10:00 am at the lock tender’s house. More up to date canal info will be posted over the next week. Again, thanks to so many supporters in this effort!
Anticipating possible damage from Sandy, DCNR park personnel took the precaution of shutting the pump down. In that process, needed repairs to the pump’s distribution pipe were identified and completed. With the pump idle, alarmed Canal watchers unexpectedly saw their hard-won water mysteriously recede to its starting point. Once the pumping process resumed water returned, adding another mystery by then reaching its previous southern edge in a mere four days. The Canal water then advanced as far as Randolph Street (adjacent to the old Eagle Firehouse) in New Hope before retreating somewhat. DCNR is currently trying to identify the cause of this erratic progress. One possible reason for the “snail’s pace” may be the dryness of the Canal prism. The Canal bed needs to absorb water and become saturated before the water can rise sufficiently to flow. In addition vegetation, prism depth variation and roots also interfere with water movement. Park staff members have been clearing downed trees and debris while monitoring the situation, and are actively testing for any possible prism faults; thus far no specific problems have been pinpointed.
If the Canal bed remains sound, Park Manager Rick Dalton has stated that he and his staff will keep the pump operating as long as there is no threat to the pump from winter weather or ice. In addition, New Hope for Our Canal members will continue to pursue their parallel objective of Canal beautification by participating in volunteer clean-up projects in cooperation with the Friends of the Delaware Canal. New Hope for Our Canal has already invested in extensive vegetation removal, has funded flower planting at the Locktender’s House, has paid to replace stolen electric cable and has contributed monies to complete the Centre Bridge pump installation.
Perhaps the organization’s most noteworthy improvement accomplishment to date has been to partner with the Friends of the Delaware Canal to repair the deteriorated stone wall on the New Hope towpath. Thanks to the T&T Tree service and the skilled craftsmen of Hertz and Dunn Masonry, the crumbling and vandalized wall is once again complete, safe and beautiful to behold. The members of New Hope for our Canal continue to appreciate the support of our community and will keep working to reach our goal of water from Centre Bridge to New Hope.
Yes, that is water getting close to New Hope. In addition, we are paying for the historical wall to get repaired next to the lock tenders house. Things are really coming together. Thanks to everyone for their continued support!
On the brighter side – the leading edge of the water being pumped into the Canal at Centre Bridge is underneath the Rabbit Run bridge. Here’s a photo looking north from the bridge.
Story by Charlie Sahner from New Hope Free Press
An extension of the deadline for completion of New Hope’s Ferry Street Bridge caused the Delaware Canal refill pump at Center Bridge to be switched off after only a few days of operation, according to Delaware Canal State Park Manager Rick Dalton. The Ferry Street Bridge crosses over a portion of the Delaware Canal, and workers there have continued using the dry canal bed as a staging area for varied aspects of its reconstruction.
The good news: the Center Bridge pump has been activated once more, and water is flowing again toward New Hope. Workers should be clear of the canal bottom itself in the next week or two at the Ferry Street Bridge project, with its completion now targeted for the end of this month, confirmed Dalton.
The challenging reality: The water will take at least a week to reach Rabbit Run, according to Dalton. Along the way to New Hope, say longtime local observers, the water surging up from the Delaware River at Center Bridge may encounter holes caused by muskrats and other local burrowers, and potential gaps in canal lining material or stone walls. In any event, the slight elevation rise at one point in the canal, and thick weed and brush through much of its parched bed, certainly can’t help.
Still, New Hope may see a water-filled canal by the end of this summer. Fingers crossed.