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Remember: What is going on in Canal Park? UPDATE

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What is going on in Canal Park? UPDATE

I went for a walk in Canal Park this afternoon to take some new pictures for a piece I have been working on documenting the neglect down there. What I found in Canal Park however, has nothing to do with neglect. Something is going on down there and I have no idea what it is.

As you can see in the picture above these “No Trespassing” signs have been placed on wooden pillars that surround the lot at the end of Canal Park. These signs have not been present on any of my prior visits. In addition, “CLOSED” signs have been placed as well. You can see them in the pictures below.

I do not know why any of those signs have been posted and there is no explanation present. As odd as all of that was to see, I turned and walked towards the Lehigh Canal and was greeted with my biggest surprise of the day.

It is almost empty. There is a slight trickle of water running through it but it is a far cry from the normal water volume that is present. I got back into my car and headed up to the bridge to see if I could decipher what exactly had cause the Canal to go dry.

As you can see in that picture, the normal access point for the water in the now dry part of the canal has literally been boarded off. The wooden dam is leaking in many spots and I don’t imagine it will last a very long time.

So, what is going on down there? Why has the canal been made dry? Why is it now trespassing to walk the D+L trail? I certainly have no answers. I would hope they are cleaning up the canal and the area in general for a return to use and an exit from neglect. I would love to see the boathouse used again and canoes made available for public floats in the Canal. I will wait and see if anyone has an answer because the whole situation is beyond strange. It’s weird.

I will be sending an email to Greg Weitzel the Director of Parks and Recreation to see if I can get some answers.


Greg Weitzel has informed me that there has been a breach in the tow path and that they are working with the DEP, Army Corp of Engineers and others to get it fixed.
"To date, we had a contractor install a coffer dam and have a canal expert designing the repair. No date on when we would open this section of trail yet, but we are working hard to get this fixed ASAP"



Blogger LVCI said...

Somebody once said to me..."Do you even go to the damn parks for anything but to find reasons to complain?"

Hey give yourself a year or two you might get cranky as the rest of us

October 25, 2009 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Wow. Keep us posted.

October 25, 2009 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Fair enough LVCI. Ha Ha Ha.

I am certainly starting to get there and depending on what I find out is going on down at Canal Park, it might not take a year or two.

October 25, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...


I have sent the email to Greg so as soon as I know, I will post it on the blog.

October 25, 2009 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

You can walk or bike up to the breach from the Bethlehem side. Enter at Sand Island. It's just west of the Bethlehem/Allentown line. I was there on Sunday 10/25/09. This situation stinks, I have been biking on the tow-path a lot lately. I live in South Bethlehem, and now cut-off from Canal Park because of this.

October 29, 2009 at 1:20 PM  

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