Monday, February 26, 2007

Canal park in Easton preparing for busy spring season

The federal government will provide about $300,000 to fix the most-recent flood damage at Hugh Moore Park in Easton.

Park officials want the work done by April 20 so they can begin running their canal boat tours in May, said Rob Rudd, executive director of the National Canal Museum, which operates the park.

The work includes repairing the Lehigh Canal bank and the parallel towpath. That needs to be done before the canal is filled with water for the tours.

The flood caused more damage to Hugh Moore Park than the two previous floods combined, Rudd said. Those floods, in August 2004 and April 2005, caused a total of about $176,000 in damage.

The 260-acre park is vulnerable to flooding because it rests on an island between the river and Lehigh Canal. The park's main attraction is a ride on the canal via a mule-drawn boat.

The park also has picnic areas and walking and biking trails. The National Canal Museum opened its Emrick Technology Center there last year, a museum of industrial and transportation history.

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