Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Casualty of Trails and Pathways

If you're environmentally conscience, building the final connection between Phase 1 of the Mike Castle Trail and Delaware City (Phase 2) is a bit disturbing. Unlike the elevated boardwalk design proposed for Phase 3 of the Industrial Track Rail Trail, this project is filling in sensitive wetland areas, with massive amounts of layered dirt. Below is a series of photos taken this past weekend, illustrating its impacts on the environment.

The brand new right of way (ROW) is very wide, and parallels the C&D Canal Spur into Delaware City. Once the path is completed, it will become an economic boon to the City, drawing bicyclists and pedestrians from all over the country.

Here, the ROW came to an abrupt halt, where crews are marching forward with massive layers of fill dirt - directly over the wetlands.
A closer view of what's to be filled in as the project moves forward.

Large white ballast stones, seen along the water (upper left in the photo), are being added to reinforce the ROW. At the same time, they are filling in much of the crab's natural habitat along the canal.

At Delaware Bikes, we love Trails and Pathways when they repurpose existing ROWs, such as abandoned railroads. However, routing them through prime wildlife habitat should be a very last resort, and/or designed with utmost sensitivity. Witnessing the invasive nature of this construction project, we sincerely hope that all other options were considered.

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