Arts Trail Access From McAteer Bridge Remains Open to Pedestrians

Lafayette College geology and environmental geosciences professor Dru Germanoski talks to a people about issues related to dam removals as they stand by Bushkill Creek during a Walk and Talk event on the Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton, Pennsylvania.

The removal of a dam on Bushkill Creek and related work is blocking vehicular access to the Richard McAteer Memorial Bridge (“blue bridge”) on Bushkill Drive for an estimated three months. However, pedestrians can still use the bridge to enter the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. 

Work on the demolition project began on June 4 behind Union Fuel and 500 Bushkill Drive. The portion of the arts trail beyond the paved walking path, from the McAteer Bridge southeast toward downtown through the start of the Union Fuel and Safe Harbor Easton property, is closed to vehicles. 

Trail visitors can still park in the lot at 550 N. 13th Street. The entire trail remains open.

The dam removal is expected to take three weeks, followed by work to complete the McAteer Bridge underpinning and stabilization of the bank of the Route 22 overpass. The larger project of dam removals on Bushkill Creek will restore it to its natural, free-flowing state, providing greater territory for fish and improving management of stormwater runoff. 

According to the Delaware Water Basin Commission, “Dam removals improve water quality in the stream by lowering water temperature, reducing nutrient buildup, and improving dissolved oxygen levels. As tributaries are reconnected to the mainstem Delaware River, restoring natural stream flow, fish and freshwater mussels return, sometimes soon after the removal is completed. Increased habitat for mussels is especially important as they further help improve water quality by filter feeding. Removing dams also has multiple community benefits, for example, increasing recreation opportunities and improving public safety.”