Breaking News & Updates

Canal Drawdown Begins on Monday, Sept. 26

Water level in the Canal will be lowered in several areas of Delaware Canal State Park beginning on Monday, September 26. The drawdown will allow for preventive maintenance, inspections and several small repair projects. Large stretches of the Canal will have low water levels until work is completed. It is anticipated that rewatering will begin on November 1.

Areas affected will include:

  • Raubsville: Smith’s Bridge (Woody’s Bridge)
  • Raubsville: Lock 22/23 (Groundhog Lock)
  • Solebury Township: Lower Limeport Bridge
  • Solebury Township: Bowman’s Hill
  • Yardley Borough: Lock 5
  • Bristol Township: Airport Road

The full text of the announcement from Joshua S. Swartley, Park Manager, is below:

Delaware Canal State Park is planning for a maintenance drawdown of the canal beginning on September 26, 2016. The canal will be drawn down in multiple sections of the park to perform preventative maintenance, inspections, and to complete several small repair projects.

Work associated with this drawdown will take place at Smith’s Bridge (Woody’s Bridge) in the Raubsville area, Lock 22/23 (Groundhog Lock) in the Raubsville area, Lower Limeport Bridge in the Solebury Township area, the Bowman’s Hill area, the Lock 5 area in Yardley Borough, and in the Airport Road area of Bristol Township.

Due to this drawdown and the low river levels in New Hope, large stretches of the canal will have low water levels until work is completed. It is anticipated that the canal will be re-watered in the beginning of November. Sections of the canal from New Hope south are dependent on higher river levels for re-watering and may take longer to refill. Currently, water levels in the southern portion of the canal are extremely low and in some areas non-existent due to the lack of water at the New Hope inlet.

Drawdown of the canal must take place between July 15th and October 1st, due to the regulations established by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to protect the imperiled eastern redbelly turtle. During the drawdown period, park staff will be on site to remove and relocate any turtles, fish, and other species of concern to a safe location should they become stranded in a section of the canal with low water.

If you have any questions or would like additional information about the planned drawdown of the canal please contact the park office for assistance.


Joshua S. Swartley
Park Manager

Two Sinkholes Plus

The number of sinkholes in the Point Pleasant area multiplied.  Bi-State Construction is finished filling in five of the six sinkholes between Bridges 2 and 3 in Point Pleasant. After completing the sixth, they will move south of the Mountainside Inn and take care of a few there.

Filling Holes North of Bridge Two 08152016





The Tale of Two Sinkholes

August 1, 2016

Two significant sinkholes developed  between Bridge 2 and Bridge 3 north of Point Pleasant this weekend.  (This is a notoriously unstable area.)  Tomorrow, August 2nd, the Park staff will be draining down the Canal section by opening the waste gate at Bridge 4 in Smithtown and the waste  gate at Mountainside Inn in Point Pleasant.   Fish rescues will be conducted if needed.

Bi-State Construction will arrive next  Monday, August 8th to repair the holes.  The project is anticipated to take two days.

We commend DCNR for jumping right on the repair.

The River Is Down

June 22, 2016

The southern end of the Delaware Canal from New Hope to Bristol is fed by the Delaware River through an inlet located behind the Chez Odette building.   We’ve been having a dry spell, so the River has dropped  below level of  the mouth of the inlet, and thus no water is being supplied into the Canal.   The levels along the Canal are dropping.

As a point of reference, the Delaware River gauge at Trenton must be at 9 or above for water to flow into the Canal.  Currently the River level is at 8.6.

Coffer Dam is Fixed and Water is Flowing Again

The Delaware Canal State Park staff moved quickly to fix a collapsed 3ft. X 3ft. sandbag in the Kleinhans Creek Aqueduct coffer dam installation.   Water is again flowing south from Groundhog Lock!    Thank you!!

Kleinhans Aqueduct fix 2

Coffer Dam at Kleinhans Aqueduct Breaks

Water levels in the northern half of the Canal will be down until the coffer dam at the Kleinhans Aqueduct can be repaired.    The Park staff is currently evaluating the situation.

Lehigh River Water Has Again Reached Its Current Destination

The gates that allow Lehigh River water to flow into the Delaware Canal were reopened last Friday.   The Canal has been refilling and flow has reached its current destination, the Virginia Forrest Recreation Area, 29 miles south of Easton.    Thanks to DCNR for allowing pipes to be installed at the failing Kleinhans Aqueduct and thanks to Bi-State Construction for making quick work of it.

Pipes Are In Place at the Kleinhans Aqueduct

April 27, 2016

Bi-State Construction is in the process of completing the installation of the pipe and coffer dam system that will allow Canal water to flow south through the leaking Kleinhans Aqueduct.  If all goes well, the gates at the Lehigh River  will be opened this afternoon or tomorrow morning, and water will return.

The start of the project.
The start of the project.

Bi-State Will Start Installing Pipes Tomorrow

April 25, 2016

In order to restore the Lehigh River water flow to the south, Bi-State Construction will install coffer dams at either end of the leaking Kleinhans Aqueduct and run three pipes through aqueduct span.    Mobilization has already begun.  Thanks to DCNR for approving this work that will allow  the Canal to be watered while the aqueduct is repaired.

The leaking Kleinhans Aqueduct
The leaking Kleinhans Aqueduct

A Few Glitches in Rewatering Process

April 20, 2016

The amount of water reaching the Virginia Forrest Recreation Area north of Centre Bridge has diminished due to several circumstances.

  1. Debris, brush, yard waste, etc. continues to accumulate at the locks and stop gates on the route south from Easton.  These accumulations hinder the water flow and must be laboriously cleaned out by the Park staff.  The staff tackles clean-out nearly every day.
  2. The structural problems that were known about Fry’s Run Aqueduct south of Easton have blossomed into a leak.  The Park engineers have developed a short term plan for keeping water fully flowing, which may be implemented as quickly as April 25-26. They also have an intermediate plan.  The Fry’s Run Aqueduct is the shortest one on the Canal, just 25 feet long, so solutions easier to accomplish.

The water level in the southern end of the Canal from Green Lane to the Bristol Lagoon is also lower because the Park staff is repairing some holes that developed around a culvert that runs underneath the Canal.

No catastrophes!