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Ferry Street Bridge to open Thursday; water-filled Delaware Canal to take longer

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

There’s a reopening ceremony scheduled for the Ferry Street Bridge Thursday at 11 a.m., and while that event will be cause for well-deserved celebration among the business likes of Logan Inn and My My, much of the rest of us are still sneaking peaks northward from canal bridges all around hoping to catch the first glimpse of water flowing like manna from Center Bridge.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a bit longer.

If the first falling leaves and crisp mornings weren’t warning enough, it’s plain to most locals that a water-filled canal isn’t in the cards for New Hope this summer. Park officials had hoped the water surging south from Center Bridge via a pump connected to the adjacent Delaware River would make it past a huge mass of vegetation leading toward Phillips Mill in time for Thursday’s Ferry Street Bridge ribbon cutting, according to Delaware Canal State Park Manager Rick Dalton.

But the weeds and grass that have sprung up in the mostly dry canal bed may be soaking up the water and there may be muskrat holes or other leaks in bottom or sides of the canal owing to the extensive time period during which the waterway was left dry, explained Dalton. In any event, the vegetation will start being cleared next week from Center Bridge to Phillips Mill, allowing water to flow unobstructed and park officials to inspect the canal for signs of leakage, he said.

All of which means that a central roadway in the heart of the borough will finally be reopened to traffic tomorrow — a blessing for businesses and residents. But the refilling of the waterway beneath that brand new bridge will be an incremental affair, with stops and starts along the way. Looks like patience and persistence are going to be the order of the day.



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Charlie Sahner

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