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Lehigh Canal Emergency Repairs Completed

04/23/2020
Lehigh Canal Emergency Repairs Completed

Emergency repairs to the Lehigh Canal in Allentown have been completed and the canal has been reopened.

Joao & Bradley Construction Company of Bethlehem was awarded a $126,750 contract from the city of Allentown on April 14 to make the emergency repairs which included replacing a 17-foot deep manhole.

The canal failed on April 6 in the area of Lock No. 1 off the Lehigh River and drained through the bottom to a broken more than 100-year-old 42-inch stone arch cross culvert.

The repair work prevented a possible catastrophic failure of an underlying cross stone arch culvert pipe which would have resulted in higher replacement and retirement costs for the existing pipe.

City engineering prepared a design solution, scope of work and related tasks which were submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and approved for an emergency permit.

The repair work included a new manhole and 36-inch high density polyethylene pipes (HDPEP) watertight pipe installation and ultimately filling the broken pipe with a flowable fill to prevent further failures.

The new manhole facilitates the design and corrects other existing pipe and manhole failures on the east bank of the canal.

The work was completed in less than one week well ahead of schedule.

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