2009-04-16 / Local & State

Philly-Area Canal Barge Tours May Resume

NEW HOPE, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia businessman says he hopes to have mule teams once again towing sightseers in barges on the historic Delaware Canal this summer.

The tours were a common sight for decades in New Hope, about 30 miles upriver from Philadelphia. Since 2007, however, the barges have been in storage and the mules out to pasture following a series of floods that damaged the canal.

But New Hope businessman 7/

George Fernandez says he hopes to have them back in action by July. He has acquired the mules and is in talks to acquire the 80- passenger barges. He also needs a contract with state overseers of the towpath and canal _ which has yet to be refilled with water.

From 1832 to 1931, muletowed barges used the canal to haul anthracite coal from upstate to a point where the Delaware became navigable for ships.

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