Rick Dalton, Delaware Canal Park Superintendent, reports that the expanded scope repairs on the High Falls Arch Tunnel have begun after a successful application to expedite the project. Approvals were needed from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), the PA Department of Environmental Protection, and the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed under an existing General Maintenance Permit which significantly speeded the repair process. Without this, a new permit application would have to have been completed, filed and approved, a process that can take months.
The existing, historical head wall stonework will not be affected, said Superintendent Dalton. A steel insert will be used to provide structural integrity, but the exposed portions of the tunnel will retain the aesthetic and historical stone work. These repairs will be considered permanent, again significantly speeding the completion date. The initial plan called for a temporary structure, but some creative engineering and planning have allowed the park to bypass that step.