May 13, 2013

The Parkway Bridge

General Harry Trexler hired Meehan and Associates, of Philadelphia, to design Lehigh Parkway's Robin Hood area. In 1935, when the WPA began it's park projects, Allentown was shovel ready. Although the General was killed in 1933, his trust was already established in 35, and helped fund the monumental structures. In addition to the park entrance wall, the WPA built the bridge, to provide a parking and a picnic area for park enjoyment. A dam was built 18 feet beyond the bridge, to complete the magic that has endured during the last 78 years. Although the WPA used experienced stone masons, they were not bridge engineers. The Wildland's Conservancy has received a grant to remove 9 dams, including the Robin Hood dam, by the bridge. How this removal will effect the durability of the bridge piers, and ambience of the Robin Hood, has not been considered. Although generally dam removal improves water quality, in this case, the net result would just be tokenism. A major sewage line runs right next to the stream, which occasionally overflows during heavy rains. To jeopardize the bridge, considering these realities, would be poor park management. The permission to remove this dam was given in the transition period between park directors. This evening, I will attend a meeting and have an opportunity to meet our new Park Director. Let the Conservancy instead remove 8 dams, and ensure that our WPA bridge is not endangered.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let the Wildlands group remove the dams that are not located in the city. The "improvements" that are being made to our nationally known park system have been making things worse.

Anonymous said...

Remove the dams. Restore the creek.
But PLEASE, do it correctly.

Is Wildlands up for this task ???

michael molovinsky said...

@11:40, removing the dam at robin hood will not be restoring the creek. it is at best a token gesture. as you well know, sewage overflows from the manhole covers several times a year. the bridge and dam were built at the same time. removing the dam will increase the velocity and depth around the bridge piers(scour). if that bridge is lost to use, in addition to losing an irreplaceable wpa icon, we will lose the major parking area for lehigh parkway and the ability for the public to enjoy the park. i don't respect blind, knee jerk, all dams are bad, reactions like yours. place such future comments elsewhere. i will not permit them unanswered, and i'm tried of answering.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of your older readers will recall, but didn't W.C. build the damns a decade ago as protection from side stream erosion. Now tear them down? What to believe.

Anonymous said...

Remove the damn at Robin Hood Heck. Clean up the precious little bridge and walkway and keep cars off the grass meadows. Check out the former iron bridge area after a weekend run/walk event. The grasses are dead. Why this city continues to destroy this treasure is hard to comprehend. Would Bethlehem allow this? Call and ask.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Remove the dams. Restore the creek.
But PLEASE, do it correctly.

Is Wildlands up for this task ???

May 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Don't think they are. Please tell us, what is "correctly?"