These six pages tell and document the story of the nearly million-dollar Quittie Creek restoration project in Annville PA. Work on Phase 1 started on Monday, November 10, 2014 and took about four months. A 15-month pause followed. Phase 2 formally began on 23 June 2016 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony next to the Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge on Bachman Rd. in Annville. The project remains in progress (at the current writing in summer 2016).
• Page 1 (this page) covers the project's first 8 weeks (to January 2, 2015).
• Page 2 carries the project forward from January 5 to the end of February 2015, when most of the major work of Phase 1 was completed.
• Page 3 takes us through the 15-month pause between Phases 1 & 2 (March 2015-June 2016) and focuses mainly on volunteer efforts to plant & maintain saplings along the reconstructed streambanks, and the creek's responses to the reconstruction work.
• Page 4 picks up at the formal beginning of Phase 2 in June 2016 and takes us through the active construction to the final closeout meeting of October 3, 2016.
• Page 5 will photo-document the post-construction phase, after the project is complete and the ecosystem has had a chance to recover and respond to the changes.
At right is a map of the entire project. Phase 1 began in Quittie Creek Nature Park about 500 feet upstream of the Raymond Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge, and continued about 1,200 feet downstream of the bridge. Phase 2 took the project downstream another 1,750 feet, more or less, mostly through Paul Stumpy Graham's property, past the Quittapahilla Creek Garbage Museum to about 30 feet shy of the Route 934 bridge.
Background information on this long-awaited project can be found on the "Projects & Grants" page. Detailed maps of virtually every foot of the project can be found on the "Studies & Documents" page, in particular the "Design Report" and the "Maps" listed under May 2012.
Week 1: November 10-14, 2014 • The Work Begins!
Work has finally begun! Click on the icon at left to see this dramatic, edge-of-your-seat YouTube video showing the demolition of the Old Mill Dam on the south bank of Quittie Creek just upstream of the Raymond Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge, on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 12. The photos below, taken the same day just upstream of the bridge, show the progress on the project to date. Click on thumbnails to view full images.
Week 2: November 17-21, 2014 • Ceremonial Ribbon-Cutting & the Work Continues
The photo below was taken on the occasion of the formal ceremonial ribbon-cutting to mark the inauguration of the project on Monday, November 17 at the Raymond Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge, when representatives of the Quittapahilla Watershed Association, the Lebanon Valley Conservancy, the PA Department of Environmental Protection, and the PA Fish & Boat Commission, as well as all three Lebanon County commissioners and one Annville Township commissioner (Jim Scott) were on hand to mark the occasion -- along with community members like Paul "Stumpy" Graham, whose property along the north bank of the creek has become, in practical terms, an extension of Quittie Creek Nature Park.
Above: Ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge in Quittie Creek Nature Park in Annville PA on Monday, November 17, 2014. From left to right: (1) Craig Buckler, President of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce; (2) Sheila Wartluft of the Lebanon Valley Conservancy; (3) County Commissioner Bob Phillips; gripping the end of the ribbon is (4) Glenn Rider of the PA-DEP; doing the ceremonial ribbon-cutting with the oversize scissors is (5) David Lasky, Co-President of the Quittapahilla Watershed Association and Board Member of the Lebanon Valley Conservancy; to the right of Dave is (6) PA State Representative RoseMarie Swanger; the man in the cowboy hat is (7) Dave Miko of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission; next to him is (8) County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz; (9) Ned Gibble of the Lebanon Valley Conservancy; (10) Jineen Boyle of the PA-DEP; and at the far right, (11) Lebanon County Commissioner Bill Ames.
Also on Monday afternoon, just downstream of the ribbon-cutting, another load of cement-laden waste water was flowing into the Quittie from the unnamed tributary that flows through Boger Concrete Co.'s facility in Annville, as seen in the two photos below. We hope that Boger Concrete Co., Annville Township, and the PA-DEP can address this ongoing problem (click on images for higher-resolution photos):
By the end of the week, the streambank restoration project had not progressed a whole lot further, as seen in the photos below (taken Friday afternoon, November 21; click on thumbnails for full images).
Week 3: November 24-26 (Thanksgiving Week)
Progress was a bit slow on this short week (Wednesday's slushy snowfall limited the work-week to Monday & Tuesday), but the project is moving forward. On the south bank, the remnants of the Old Mill Dam are almost gone, while rolls of geotextile fabric ("coir fabric") have been installed starting just across the creek from Lime Hill / Chalk Hill in Quittie Creek Nature Park, as seen in the photos below, taken on Thanksgiving morning:
Week 4: December 1-5, 2014
This week the crew was busy installing rolls of "coir fiber" (reportedly made of coconut husk fibers, and also known as "geotextile fabric") along the south bank of Quittie Creek upstream of the Pedestrian Bridge -- even though it rained all day Wednesday and has been wet & mucky all week.
The photos below, showing Howard, Steve & Scott of Lee Irwin's crew hard at work staking down the rolls of coir fiber matting, were taken Thursday, Dec. 4. Next week the crews will reportedly finish this section, plant vegetation into the coir fiber mat, and keep moving downstream. Click on thumbnails below for full images, which scan the scene from the north bank, looking upstream at left & downstream at right.
Week 5: December 8-12, 2014
Progress continued to be slow this week, with drizzle all day Wednesday and snow squalls on Thursday. As seen in the photos below, the coir fabric on the south bank has been planted with saplings, and the vertical poured concrete wall on the north bank has been removed.
Week 6: December 15-19, 2014
Excellent progress this week, despite Tuesday's rain. The photo at right, taken from the Swingholm Pedestrian Bridge on Wed Dec 17, shows the Old Mill Dam concrete abutment on the south bank fully removed and the bank rebuilt with rock fill all the way down to the pedestrian bridge. Now all that remains of the Old Mill Dam are the sections that make up the creekbed -- not just the flat concrete slab at left, but across the whole channel. The creekbed actually slopes downhill as you head upstream from the end of the concrete slab -- the opposite of what it should be (obviously), and a big problem when it comes to erosion and accumulation of silt. Hence this project.
Photos below also taken Wed Dec 17. The last in the sequence was taken downstream of the pedestrian bridge; this is the section that will be worked on next.
The next sequence of photos, below, taken Friday, Dec 19, show much of the north bank graded and geotextile fabric installed a good chunk of the way from Lime Hill downstream toward the pedestrian bridge:
Week 7: December 22-26 (Christmas Week)
A short, wet week — rained most of the day Tuesday & Wednesday, and then on Thursday, as predicted, came Christmas. Still, the crew is making excellent progress, as seen in the photos below, taken on Friday, Dec. 26 (the first two photos look downstream from the north bank toward the pedestrian bridge; the third photo, taken from the same spot on the north bank, looks upstream):
Week 8: December 29, 2014 — January 2, 2015
The project continues moving forward at a brisk pace, with work still focused on the area just upstream of the Old Mill Dam and some preliminary, path-clearing work being done just downstream. The photos below, taken on a foggy, wet Sunday, January 4, show a wall of boulders being built on the north bank where the old poured-concrete side of the Old Mill Dam once stood. Other photos in the sequence show the progress made over the past week, with coir fabric being rolled downstream on the south bank toward the Pedestrian Bridge:
Below we see the freshly-bulldozed path on the north bank just downstream of the Pedestrian Bridge. The first photo in the sequence shows the hand-rail of the Pedestrian Bridge in the lower-right foreground; the second photo shows the same area. The third photo shows the access route from Bachman Rd. toward the creek, with the photos 4 & 5 following the same access route in toward the creek. The last photo shows a perhaps quixotic effort by the Watershed Association's co-president to alert the work crew & ask them to salvage what looks like a salvage-worthy hunk of manufactured stone (or piece of poured concrete?) -- maybe even part of the Old Mill Dam. We shall see!