Water damage to canal towpath in our area

-- by David Winer

Sycamore Islander, January 2003

In late November, the Park Service closed the canal towpath near Lock 7 for several days, bringing in heavy machinery to save the canal bank and towpath from washing out completely. According to the news, the action was just in time to avert a disaster. Our Caretaker kept us informed through his log on the Club’s website. Messages such as these appeared from time to time: Work continues on the towpath above Lock Seven so that part of the canal is still empty. Unfortunately the canal is still drained, the repair job to the towpath seems completed but they still haven't refilled the canal.

“This just in…” (very late December) Repairs are not yet complete on the break, but the towpath is passable through the area. Passable, but very muddy at times and quite narrow at the repair site. In conditions of snow, ice, or just plain slippery mud, the Park Service’s warnings seem especially appropriate.

In the meantime, the canal is drained and we again suffer the all too frequent decline in quality of recreational activities along this popular stretch. Let’s hope for completed repair and refill before ice skating weather hits.