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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

November 1, 2006


Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795



(06/64) FRANKLIN - The flood-damaged mule tender's barracks at the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park in Franklin Township, Somerset County, has received $750,000 in renovation funding, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced today.

"This project will restore a unique piece of our state's history that was seriously damaged by floods caused by the remnants of Hurricane Floyd,'' Commissioner Jackson said. "The damage done to this building reminds us that protection of our state's historic sites requires our unwavering attention.''

The mule tender's barracks was damaged during flooding that occurred in September 1999. The renovation will take into account protecting the barracks from future floods.

Measures include laying a slate floor in keeping with the building's history over a more durable concrete floor. Drainage vents will be installed and utilities will be raised above flood levels.

The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is a popular multi-use recreational corridor, providing opportunities for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding. The park also is a valuable wildlife corridor connecting fields and forests.

With its 19th-century bridges, bridge tender houses, locks, cobblestone spillways and hand-built stone-arched culverts, the canal is a tremendous attraction for history lovers.

Largely dug by hand by immigrants, the canal system was completed in 1834 primarily to transport coal from Pennsylvania to New York City. Nearly 36 miles of the main canal and 22 miles of the feeder canal still exist, with many historic structures such as the mule tender's barracks along the canal.

On Nov. 7, New Jersey voters will consider a constitutional amendment that would provide a dedicated source of funding for maintenance and capital improvement projects to benefit sites like this one. The amendment will provide a dedicated source of funding totaling $15 million a year until 2015 and $32 million annually beginning in 2016.

The renovation work is funded through the Garden State Preservation Trust. Once completed, the building will be reopened as an interpretive facility.

To learn more about Ballot Question #2, visit




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Last Updated: November 1, 2006