Fry’s Run Aqueduct
By Joshua Swartley
Delaware Canal State Park Manager
The Fry’s Run Aqueduct, also known as Kleinhans Aqueduct, is located in Northampton County just south of Raubsville in Williams Township and Delaware Canal State Park. The original aqueduct was built in 1832, but has since been reconstructed, probably in the 1950s or 60s, with steel I-beams and wooden floor and walls. The aqueduct measures approximately 20 feet by 20 feet and sits on top of cut stone abutments. The aqueduct, with its stone abutments and walls, carries the canal over the creek and allows the creek to run underneath and flow out to the Delaware River.
The aqueduct structure failed in April 2016 and we currently have two 50-inch diameter plastic corrugated pipes with coffer dams on both ends over the aqueduct to allow us to bypass water over the structure. Without the bypass, we would not be able to water the canal from the Raubsville area down to Centre Bridge. This aqueduct is crucial to canal operations, because it allows us to send water through the canal for approximately 24 miles down to Centre Bridge. With the temporary bypass in place we can still send water south, but only at approximately half of what our normal flow would be.
This project will not only include replacement of the aqueduct; it will include a significant amount of work to the cut stone abutments and walls. Currently, the stone walls and abutments are in poor shape. There are substantial leaks and seepage issues in this area along with sections of wall that are bulging and in danger of collapsing. The plan right now is to rebuild several sections of retaining wall, grout the stone work, and excavate behind the abutments so that flowable concrete can be poured into the area to seal up the cracks. The project will also include relining of the canal in the immediate area of the aqueduct to help with leakage and seepage issues. There is also a pedestrian and vehicular bridge that runs along the aqueduct where we will be making some minor repairs, like the repainting of steel I-beams and repairs to bridge abutments.