Lock 20 Bypass Pipe is Replaced
February 6, 2015
The replacement of the bypass pipe at Lock 20 is finished. The Army Corps of Engineers has required that the PennDOT contractor refine the berm contours at the wall installation project south of Groundhog Lock. It is expected to be an “in and out” project.
Making Progress on All Fronts
Park Manager’s Report by Rick Dalton
The PennDOT project to remove the large stone from the Canal south of the Theodore Roosevelt Recreation Area in Raubsville is complete as far as work within the Canal prism. After a storm, PennDOT placed tons of stone on the Route 611/Canal slope as a temporary measure to shore up the road after it had eroded. The stone, which would have blocked the flow of water and compromised the towpath bank was removed. Then a concrete wall was constructed along the unstable stretch of berm bank. We have been holding the water back at Raubsville due to this project since last fall.
The Park is replacing the bypass pipe at Lock 20 in the Narrows section of the Canal south of Kintnersville. As I write, this project is underway and is expected to be finished by the end of January. Once the pipe is installed, we will be able to send the Lehigh River water, which is currently being held at Raubsviille, downstream.
The Park staff took advantage of the dry canal to make repairs that became evident while we had water in the Canal last summer. These projects included repairs to waste gates, placing clay where leaks were noted, pointing stone work, and other items.
Another important project is the replacement of the culvert that carries the Cutalossa Creek under the Canal near Busick’s quarry. Bids will be received for the work on January 15. This is a large project in scope and will take several months to complete. Our plan is to place a coffer dam across the Canal at the southern end of Lumberville so that we can have water to Lumberville while the project is ongoing. The towpath is CLOSED at this location.
The remaining four towpath obstructions from Morrisville south to Bristol are in varying stages of being overcome. The project to construct a passageway through the railroad embankment that obstructs the towpath just south of Morrisville is in the final stages of development. This should go out to bid in 2015. Also, as part of the large PennDOT Route 13 project, a pedestrian crossing will be installed across Green Lane and another across Route 13 to provide a safe access to the towpath.
As part of a separate PennDOT bridge replacement project at Tyburn Road, a detour around the Tyburn Road obstruction is to be included. We also have a design to provide ramps and a pedestrian crossing at Bridge Street in Morrisville. When these projects are completed the section of the Canal from Morrisville to Bristol will be much safer and easier to travel along. I would like to thank the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the East Coast Greenway for their assistance in resolving these obstacles.
We are currently working on the design to rebuild a wall that has collapsed one mile upstream of the Stoney Run Aqueduct in Washington Crossing.
DCNR secured $12 million through the Department of General Services to address infrastructure needs along the Canal, specifically bridges and culverts. This is quite a windfall and will enable us to reduce the number of projects on our needs list. We have submitted a list of projects to DGS for approval. There are three bridges currently in design which include Phillips’ Mill, Lower Limeport and Redfield, all in the New Hope area.
A feasibility study is being conducted of the proposal to construct a Park Office/Visitors’ Center in New Hope where the concession building is now located next to the Locktender’s House. The concept is to move our administrative staff into the new center along with an interpretive area and a space for the concession operator.
We repaired the pump and electrical infrastructure at the Durham location and operated it for a period of about two months to evaluate what the capacity of the pump would be. I would like to thank the Friends along with DC21 for funding the payment of the electric for this test.
As you read through this, you can see that there are many good things on the horizon for the Canal. As always I would like to take the opportunity to thank your organization for the support that is a valuable resource to me and the Park. Recent examples of accomplishments by the Friends are the repairs to the Hazzard’s Camelback Bridge and the Mechanic Street Bridge, and the timber sill replacements at Locks 18 and 15/16. These were definitely needed and greatly enhance the Canal’s stability.