Jun 18, 2013

Abandoned West Channel Of The Lehigh River

I made an inquiry to Allentown Public Works about the history of the river abandonment, and they were kind enough to research the topic and return my call. They located the map from 1964, which indicates the planned abandonment, apparently approved by the State. Coincidentally, the map partially shown above, was my father's copy, with added markings. The map key, not shown, indicates that parcel 1* is owned by Molovinsky. This was the location of my father's meat packing business, which I will discuss in a separate post, in the near future. Although Public Works agrees with my speculation that the channel was eliminated to protect the sewage plant from flooding, no document was located to verify the reason. The map does mark the former western lower channel of the river as part of the creek, and clearly shows how this project altered the confluence of the creek and river.

*Parcel 1 on Union Street, Molovinsky (Allentown (Meat) Packing Company),  is to the immediate right of the added inked area, also marked 1. At the bottom of the inked 1, the current entrance road to the treatment plant is also indicated in ink.  Click map to enlarge.


Bethlehem Native said...

For over a century, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co. had complete control of the Lehigh River. For all practical purposes, they "owned" it. I think that ended in 1966 when the company dissolved. I would think the city would have needed permission from LC&N to fill in the channel prior to 1966.

Anonymous said...

MM, Hasn't the fed requested that the king and court jesters draw a new flood plain for this area¿ This hasn't been done and with all this said development moving forward¿