For much of its length the D&R Towpath lies in the flood plan of both the Raritan and Millstone Rivers leaving it highly susceptible to flood damage. Unfortunately with record setting rains and high winds from Irene, it is no surprise that the damage was really bad on the section between Landing Lane in New Brunswick to Easton Ave at South Bound Brook. This six mile section of the trail was barely passable last week. What normally takes me less than half an hour to ride took me over two hours due to numerous blow-downs and sever scouring and erosion of the once smooth trail surface. It's safe to say that this section of the Towpath and East Coast Greenway is closed for the foreseeable future.
|One of the more imposing blow-downs made more interesting by the poison ivy covering the blown down tree trunks.|
The once beautiful and smooth red shale installed and reported about here last year was almost entirely swept away. The erosion was so bad in places that the levee that the trail travels over was almost breached in about 6 different locations, nearly causing the canal to spill into the river. The levee is clearly structurally unsound in these locations and the trail unsafe.
|This same exact section August 31st 2011.|
|Just one example of the severe erosion that nearly breached the canal, almost sending its waters into the Raritan|
|Only the bridge footings remain at the Demott Lane trail access. The bridge itself can be seen in the background.|
For more information about the D&R Towpath see the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry Website. For the complete photo survey of the damage along the East Coast Greenway in Johnsons Park and D&R Towpath, see the slide show below.