The State of the Canal
At Least Some Aspects of It
High Falls Creek Culvert in Upper Black Eddy
As promised, on November 30 Bi-State Construction began installing a metal sleeve in the two ends of the old stone arch culvert. By Christmas, the full length of the sleeve was in place spanning the collapsed section. The space between the old stone culvert and the new sleeve was progressively grouted, and the exposed sleeve as well. Kudos to the Bi-State crews, who have used the warm weather to their best advantage. If the weather was at all cooperative, the workers were on the job – rainy days, Saturdays, and sometimes holidays.
The next steps were backfilling the area and restoring the Canal prism and towpath. When all is complete, water from the north can be run through and southward.
Centre Bridge Pump
The pump that supplies water to the Canal from Centre Bridge to Lock 11 in New Hope gushed its last gallon in November. The 25-year-old pump was declared irreparable, and a new pump, which will convey more water using less energy was ordered. It is expected to arrive during the third week in January. The Friends, New Hope for Our Canal, and an anonymous donor are contributing to the cost.
Airport Road Culvert in Bristol Township
The corrugated metal culvert pipe that carries the Canal under Airport Road collapsed several months ago. DCNR contracted with Bi-State Construction to replace the culvert in-kind. Bi-State began the project in December only to discover that a water supply line was located on top of the culvert rather than underneath it. The culvert replacement is on hold until the water line can be properly placed by the water company.
Proposed Archimedes Screw Pump in New Hope
The Friends and a representative from the company that manufactures screw pumps presented the proposed water augmentation project to the Delaware Canal State Park Advisory Committee in October. The proposal was well received by the members.
At a November meeting with DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn, Deputy Secretary John Norbeck, and then Assistant Director of the Bureau of State Parks John Hallas in Harrisburg, the Friends asked that DCNR make a determination about the viability of the screw pump project. The Friends proposed that it be a public-private partnership, and DCNR’s approval is, of course, required before fundraising can be undertaken. The officials in Harrisburg promised to have the DCNR engineers thoroughly evaluate the project. At this time, no determination has been made, probably due in part to the protracted Pennsylvania budget situation.
Proposed Delaware Canal State Park Resource Center in New Hope
A feasibility study is currently underway with ongoing communication among the DGS ( PA Department of General Services), DCNR, and the project architect. Again, the Pennsylvania budget situation hasn’t hastened the review of this project.
Gateway to New Hope Project
The Friends are expressing opposition to the current development plans for the site where Odette’s now stands. The plans for a new 4-story hotel/restaurant/conference center indicate construction Delaware Canal State Park/National Historic Landmark property. New construction should not occur on State Park property, and there are other ways to accomplish the developers’ goals by way of minor adjustments in the plans to maintain setbacks along the Canal.
The development’s impact on the canal walls that surround the property; the size, mass, and placement of the new structure itself; and the demolition of the Odette’s building constructed in 1784 (Odette’s is one of the 12 structures named in the Delaware Canal National Historic Landmark designation) are all of serious concern.
If you would like to understand more about the issues, please go to the Breaking News page to read a letter from the National Park Service, which oversees National Historic Landmarks.
Washington Crossing State Park
In January, DCNR assumed responsibility for the administration of the Washington Crossing Historic Park from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. It is now the Washington Crossing State Park. The Friends look forward to working with DCNR and the Friends of Washington Crossing Park in continuing to develop and conduct activities that provide visitors with insights into the histories of both parks.
Park Manager’s Report
I want to thank the Friends for their help with replacing the pump we had in the Delaware River at Centre Bridge. This pump keeps the Canal watered from Centre Bridge to New Hope and had failed badly to the point that it didn’t make sense to repair it. The Friends, New Hope for Our Canal, and an anonymous donor stepped up with funding to ensure that the pump is replaced in a timely manner.
We have a few projects that should start in 2016. They include: the replacements of the Redfield Bridge, Phillips’ Mill Bridge and Lower Limeport Bridge all in Solebury Township, and the tunnel through the railroad embankment just downstream of Morrisville. Work also continues by PennDOT to improve the canal crossing at Green Lane and Route 13 in Bristol Township.
I want to take a minute to thank George Calaba for his five years of service here at the Canal. George has been the Assistant Manager, and he recently accepted the position as Manager at Washington Crossing State Park. The Crossing is getting a quality person who will capably handle the challenge of guiding the transition of management from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Fair seas and a following wind to him.
Thank You So Much!
The New Year is off to a great start thanks to all of you who so generously responded to the Friends’ Year-End Appeal. We asked you to help us accomplish more in 2016, and you did just that. Your contributions replenish the Canal Improvement Fund.
Wells Fargo Bank Boosts New Hope Watering Initiative
Wells Fargo Bank, through its New Hope branch, contributed $1000 to the Friends of the Delaware Canal and New Hope for Our Canal. The donation will be used to offset the cost of the new pump at Centre Bridge, which is used to keep the Centre Bridge to Lock 11 section watered.
Welcome, New Friends!
Chris and Tony D’Angelo
Debra Wolf Goldstein
Hunterdon Hiking Club
Janet Lynda Kraemer
Lions Cross Country Booster Club
Lyndon A. S. Wilson, Jr.
Our Business and Institutional Members
Learn more about these Friends by clicking on their links here.
Tinicum Civic Association
Hunterdon Hiking Club, Hunterdon County, NJ – NEW Member
Rockwood Wealth Management, New Hope
Walter’s Nursery, Inc., Point Pleasant
1740 House, Lumberville
Acadia Mortgage, LLC, New Britain
The Boat House, Lambertville
Brett Webber Architects. P.C., Philadelphia and Erwinna
Ellenoff, Underwood & Norman, Doylestown
George E. Michael & Co., New Hope Golden Pheasant Inn, Erwinna
John Paton, Inc., Doylestown – Increased Membership
Newman & Company, Inc., Philadelphia
Newtown Bicycle and Fitness
Odell Painting, LLC, Ottsville
Penn Community Bank, Yardley
Tinsman Bros., Inc., Lumberville
William B. Parry & Son, Ltd., Langhorne
Ahlum Gallery, Riegelsville
Appalachian Mountain Club, Delaware Valley Chapter
Borough of Morrisville
Bucks County Cottage on the Delaware, Yardley
Bucks County Riverboat & Trolley Companies, Upper Black Eddy
Cramer Bakery, Yardley
Dilly’s Corner, Centre Bridge
Edgar H. Denson, Post #79 American Legion, New Hope
Donnelly Marketing Services Associates, LLC, Carversville
Eiseman Roofing & Exterior Construction, New Britain
First National Bank & Trust Company of Newtown
First Savings Insurance, New Britain
T. Foster & Co., Inc., Yardley
Fox Chase Bank, Lahaska
Gratz Gallery & Conservation Studio, New Hope
The Grundy Commons, Bristol
Hobensack & Keller, Inc., New Hope
Homestead General Store & Coffee Roasters, Upper Black Eddy
La Chele Medical Aesthetics, New Hope
Leisure Craft, Warrington
Liberty Bell Wanderers, Philadelphia
Lions Cross Country Booster Club, New Hope – NEW Member
Logan Inn, New Hope
McCaffrey’s Markets, Yardley
Mueller’s General Store & Kitchen, Easton
NAM Planning & Design, LLC, Lumberville
OMNIA Group Architects, Hatboro
Pete’s Bike & Fitness Shoppe, Flemington, NJ
Porches Bed & Breakfast, New Hope
Sand Castle Winery, Erwinna
Shearer Penn Corp., Trenton, NJ
The Stephan House Inn, New Hope
Univest National Bank & Trust Co.
The UPS Store, New Hope