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Delays at Ferry Street Bridge project stall Delaware Canal refill effort

Ferry Street Bridge in New Hope (Photo: Charlie Sahner)

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.

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Charlie Sahner

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