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DCNR Announces Restoration Work Underway at Delaware Canal State Park in Bucks County


​Water drawdowns for construction will have impacts on fishing this spring

Harrisburg, PA -- Bureau of State Parks Director John Hallas today announced that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is beginning or has underway six major construction projects in Delaware Canal State Park in New Hope, Solebury Township, and Washington Crossing, Bucks County.

A total investment of more than $9 million in canal infrastructure improvements and repairs is represented in these projects, including bridge replacements and construction, and emergency repairs resulting from a major rain event in July 2023.

“These projects will address safety issues and flood damage on the southern end of Delaware Canal State Park and when complete will allow water to be restored in the canal,” Hallas said. “But in the meantime, the canal in the area is dewatered to allow for the work to be completed.”

Hallas noted that water in the canal from New Hope through Washington Crossing is drawn down to allow for the construction to occur.

Anglers should note that this area, referred to as Delaware Canal Section 03 by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), will not be stocked with trout this year due to inadequate water levels.

As an alternative, DCNR is attempting to rewater points along the canal south of Washington Crossing.

This effort will rely on inflow from a handful of smaller creeks and streams in the area, as well as rainwater and storm runoff to be successful. Results are uncertain.

PFBC will monitor the conditions within the lower section of the canal, referred to as Delaware Canal Section 05, to determine if trout stocking is possible.

Anglers should reference the PFBC’s trout stocking schedule online for updates to the status of stockings in this area before and during the trout season beginning April 6.

The projects underway include:

  • Towpath bypass over Delaware Canal Inlet, New Hope: replacing the existing temporary crossing to facilitate access of equipment critical to canal maintenance.

  • Emergency stone masonry wingwall repair, New Hope: rebuild the southeast wingwall at the bridge over the inlet channel that collapsed during a storm event on July 15, 2023.

  • Emergency scour repair to Thompson Neely Access Bridge over Delaware Canal, Solebury Twp: emergency underpinning at both abutment stem walls, and stone masonry repointing.

  • Bowman’s Hill wastegate repair, Solebury Township: repair concrete apron of the wastegate and replace timber wastegates and repair a large portion of missing stone on southern wingwall impacted by 2018 flooding. This wastegate is a critical control point for canal water levels and in its current condition, cannot retain water adequately.

  • Buckstone, David Library Bridge replacement, Washington Crossing: full replacement of the superstructure, repairs to the west abutment and replacement of the east abutment.

  • Tebola Beans Bridge, Washington Crossing: full replacement of the entire structure.

The expected completion date varies for individual projects. The impacts to the water in the canal are expected to last throughout the spring stocking and fishing season.

Find more information about Delaware Canal State Park​ on the DCNR website.

MEDIA CONTACTWesley Robinson, DCNR, 717-877-6315
                                    Mike Parker, Fish and Boat Commission

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