Friday, October 20, 2006

Open Space: Northampton extends span on canal path

Follow the winding, paved path along the Lehigh River's banks, heading south through Northampton Borough's Canal Street Park.

Go through the flock of geese, past the tiny parking lot at the park's south end, and there it is: a gleaming, 100-foot bridge of steel and wood spanning the mouth of Hokendauqua Creek, inviting walkers and joggers to cross and … well, stop right there.

For now, the new pedestrian bridge — which has been in planning for nearly a decade and cost more than $371,000 — leads only to a short strip of asphalt and a small, muddy field. But someday, officials say, the span will lead toward North Catasauqua, forming part of a 165-mile path stretching from Wilkes-Barre to the Philadelphia area.

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, established in 1996, traces the historic path of coal shipments from northeast Pennsylvania toward factories in the Lehigh Valley and the Philadelphia area, said Scott Everett, the commission's stewardship and trail manager.

When it's complete, Everett said, the corridor will stretch 165 miles across five counties, leading from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, which is between Philadelphia and Trenton, N.J. About 130 miles of the corridor are done or nearly done, he added.

The segment leading to North Catasauqua is in ''the end stages of the design phase,'' Everett said. The planned 8-foot-wide walkway of finely crushed stone will trace the Lehigh Canal tow path in North Catasauqua, Everett said.

More on this here.

No comments: