Lewes-Rehoboth Canal scenery and push back

Sunrise over the Lewes- Rehoboth Canal from the Freeman Highway Bridge. BY DENNIS FORNEY
December 15, 2011

One of the area's most dramatic views is looking southeast from the Freeman Highway Bridge over Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, the marshes of Cape Henlopen State Park and, in the distance, the twin fire towers on the beach at Gordons Pond.

The canal bends toward the south a few hundred yards from the bridge before its long straightaway toward North Shores and Rehoboth Beach.  In the past few months, a new gazebo has been constructed on the point of the Hazell Smith property where the canal makes its bend. Beautiful sunrises make up over the canal and the marshes and the gazebo is sure to find its way into lots of photographs in the years ahead.  I wanted to be one of the first to capture an image of the new structure and share it with our readers.

Freeman Highway Bridge

I was asleep at the switch a couple of years ago when Delaware River and Bay Authority announced plans to do some rehab work on the Freeman Highway Bridge over the canal. In the course of that work DRBA made the bridge far less friendly to bicyclists and walkers who like to make the bridge a loop walk including downtown Lewes, the Savannah Road drawbridge and the beach.There used to be a sidewalk on the north side of the bridge, and a smaller raised area on the south south that at least gave walkers some sense of security as they crossed the bridge.  The rehab work removed those sidewalks.  I walk the bridge a lot and the effect of not having the sidewalk is chilling.  With trucks and cars whipping by at 60 mph the lack of a sidewalk makes you feel totally exposed and vulnerable. I have raised the issue informally with DRBA officials and they tell me it's too late, there's nothing that can be done. That translates into they don't want to do anything to try to remedy a situation that has diminished the walking and biking quality of a town that provides itself on walkability.

Obviously there are things that could be done including adding a sidewalk or even some of those separator stanchions installed in places where traffic needs to be divided from walking or bike lanes. It's just a matter of will and money.

More push back is needed.  Something can and should be done.

In 2012 there should also be push back on the state park's closure of the wilderness area across from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal as well as on the closure of the Broadkill River for oystering.  That closure has outlived its need and the sources of pollution that most caused concern have been removed. We can't just close valuable resources and turn our backs on them.

Question authority. I'll keep stirring the pot on these and other issues.

Here are a couple of more photographs that have caught my fancy lately.  I'm still totally awed by the amazing fall we have had and the fact that roses and camellia shrubs are still blooming halfway through December.