Lewes canal restoration work hits delay

Project follows removal of historic railroad swing bridge almost a year ago
January 6, 2023

Story Location:
Gills Neck Road
Lewes, DE 19958
United States

Work at the site of the former Lewes-Rehoboth Canal swing bridge is ongoing. Delaware Department of Transportation contractor R.E. Pierson is in the process of excavating the embankment on the northeast side of the canal and repaving a section of the Junction-Breakwater Trail. The shoreline will be stabilized in the same fashion as the other side of the canal, which was completed last spring.

The project was scheduled to be completed in January, but will continue into the spring. “The excavation process of the contaminated soils is taking longer than originally planned,” said Charles McLeod, DelDOT’s director of community relations. “The end result is we will restore the canal to its original width prior to the installation of the railway.”

The project was halted last spring because work in Delaware waterways is restricted from April to October to reduce impact on the surrounding environment, including fish and wildlife.

In a collaborative project among the Lewes Junction Railroad and Bridge Association, DelDOT and the City of Lewes, the historic bridge was removed from the site Feb. 15 and relocated to a permanent historical display area at the end of American Legion Road.

The 103-year-old bridge, which was no longer used, was saved by the association from being scrapped. The association recently restored and relocated a 1917 caboose at another railroad display site adjacent to the Lewes Public Library and the Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail.



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