The following is part two of a two-part report from D&L Trail Steward Scott Everett. In part one, Scott provided an update on trail building in Luzerne and Carbon counties. In this part, he describes activity in Lehigh, Northampton, and Bucks counties.
In Lehigh County, trail is literally being built as I write. The section of D&L Trail from Route 329 in Cementon to River Road in Laurys Station is currently under construction.
The scope of work consists of surfacing 2.3 miles of trail and installation of two trailheads – one at Railroad Street in Cementon and one at River Road in Laurys Station. Construction should be completed by the end of November.
One of the things that continue to impress me is how communities have embraced the D&L Trail and have initiated projects on their own. The Community Center at the Slatington Trailhead is one such project. I was privileged to be invited to the planning meetings gathering many service groups in the greater Northern Lehigh area. With a long-term lease of the property secured from Lehigh County, work on the building began a few months ago. A testament to the once-thriving local state industry, the building is being constructed out of slate block.
When complete, the building will consist of a kitchen, restrooms and pavilion. It is conveniently situated between the D&L and Slate Heritage trails. This same group of service organizations and community leaders has been responsible for the construction of the restrooms and covered bridge on the Slate Heritage Trail. They are a wonderful group of people that are leaving a legacy along the trails.
Another exciting project being undertaken by one of our partners is the expansion of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. The addition will include amenities for trail users, along with expansion of their excellent educational programs.
Elsewhere in Lehigh County, some challenges remain. We have started with the design of the section of trail in Catasauqua. When complete, the project will create a trailhead at the Deily Coal Yard, clean out the invasive plants that pervade the canal and its banks, and surface the towpath. Despite this progress, upcoming bridge projects and land issues will slow development of the remainder of the D&L Trail in Lehigh County.
In Northampton County, we continue working to resolve the land issues in Freemansburg so that we can resurface the towpath. This project is being coupled with the section of trail from Riverview Park in Forks Township to Hugh Moore Park.
Elsewhere in Northampton County, we are pleased to report that sections of the towpath along the Delaware Canal are now open starting at the Forks in Easton. Please refer to Delaware Canal State Park’s website of the for the latest information on trail status of the sixty-mile section of trail within the Delaware Canal State Park. Finally, a very nice gateway project has recently being completed in Walnutport.
Repaired sections of trail are also being opened within the Bucks County section of the D&L Trail that passes through Delaware Canal State Park. The goal is to have all flood damaged sections finished by the middle of 2010.
The Route 13 crossing of the trail is still being discussed. There are no easy solutions and funding is still an issue. The tunnel under the active rail line is moving forward, and it appears that it can be constructed with the funding in place.
Finally, across the entire Corridor, we continue to add signage and replace weathered interpretive panels. This is an ongoing project, but we are making slow but steady progress.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can always contact Scott Everett at 610-923-0537 (x232) or [email protected].