Sunday, April 01, 2012

Delaware & Raritan Canal Towpath repaired and resurfaced

The Delaware & Raritan Canal Towpath is in the process of being resurfaced to repair flood damage from Hurricane Irene back in September.  Much of the work is likely to have already been completed but there could still be some rough spots particularly in the area south of South Bound Brook which saw some very bad damage.  From the look of things that I saw, the towpath looked as good as it was just prior the Hurricane Irene and likely better.

The freshly resurfaced pathway at the Manville Causeway.

However, it would appear that once again no binding agent was used to help cement the crushed red shale aggregate together from water caused erosion.  A quick and low effort pawing at the surface with my shoe easily put a divot in the surface an inch deep.  This calls into question whether the trail surface will just wash away again in the next flood just as I predicted the first time I reported the trail resurfacing nearly two years ago.  

In other D&R news, there is a minor but well marked detour in South Bound Brook as some sort of major earth moving is being done between the canal path and the Raritan River near the Queens Bridge over the Raritan.  Fortunately, when the factory site was redeveloped in S. Bound Brook a number of years ago, the old train bridge that went over the canal to access the old factory was saved and an access path was built to allow easy and convenient access to the canal from the local neighborhood (many locals could be seen accessing the towpath when I stopped for a quick look).  This wise move years ago is now paying off as this access now provides a critical function allowing for a simple and safe detour and not one that would require trail users to ride on a dangerous section of Easton Ave near Interstate 287.

Oh yeah!  Don't forget that the D&R Canal Towpath is a large and vital link of the East Coast Greenway here in New Jersey.


Anonymous said...

Hi I just found your blog, and saw this post. I live close to, and ride the D&R tow path at least once a week. The surface is indeed smooth and well compacted(and fast). BUT if you notice it has very hard sharp edges. Letting a front tire wander off this edge will lead to a sudden fall, it's happened to me after a previous resurfacing of the tow path. I called the park office and let them know that they created a hazardous condition, but I feel it fell on deaf ears.
Use caution when passing another rider or walker

Andrew J. Besold said...

Agreed, however if you were to ride off the edge of the improved surface, it would seem that you are more likely to crash into a tree. Paved roadways without curbs are built the same way. I almost ran off of Weston Canal Road and into a 2 foot ditch the other day while riding to work because I "spaced out" for a moment.

You just need to use caution. The world isn't safety proof.

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