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Township Officials: Stay Off Ice, Rahway River Lowered

The river is being lowered in preparation of silt removal.

Credit: Patch file photo.
Credit: Patch file photo.


The Township of Cranford is urging residents to stay off the ice on the Rahway River, as it is very hollow and dangerous following a lowering of the water.

The Rahway River is being lowered to prepare for the upcoming removal of silt build up. Township Engineer, Richard Marsden, began the lowering of the river on Monday. Marsden expects the project to begin within the next two weeks.
david gelber January 28, 2014 at 08:40 PM
One of the historic pastimes of our wonderful riverside community is ice skating on the Rahway River in the winter. Many paintings and old photographs depict the historic charm and beauty of skating down the river in our beautiful town. Many of us who have grown up in Cranford remember times as children skating on the river, having hot chocolate, and negotiating around hockey games as Cranford youth enjoy this unique attribute of our town. Over the past two decades, ice skating on the river has been almost nonexistent due to the mild winters we have had due to global warming and/or climate fluctuations. This winter we were lucky to have had a long period of below-freezing weather, and the river froze to 4-6 inches of ice in many places. I was starting to see individuals and pairs skating on the river, and even a few hockey games. These activities provide life-long memories of growing up in Cranford, and skating on the river is part of Cranford’s great heritage. You can see pictures from the 1800’s of men and women dressed in garments of the era, skating and enjoying the Rahway River in Cranford. So what did our Township Engineer decide to do, just as these activities were beginning and the weather was expected to hold for the next 1-2 weeks? He ordered that the river be lowered, making skating impossible and unsafe on the river. Many children, as well as adults, looked out to the river, imagining how they were going to enjoy skating and gathering with neighbors to enjoy this historic Cranford pastime, and they were very disappointed. How can silt removal take place with sheets of ice 4-6 inches thick coating the river? Was this really necessary? Please, Mr. Marsden, stop to think of the impact of your actions on the people of Cranford. We know silt removal is necessary and long overdue, but as you also know, timing is everything!
Steve January 29, 2014 at 08:53 AM
David, you raise reasonable questions that deserve to be answered by the Township, which in general could do a better job in explaining its actions (or inactions) to the town's citizens. Certainly the means to do so are readily available, such as in the Cranford Chronicle or here on Patch or on the Township's official Web site. Another recent example is the Union County deer hunt, which has been the cause for much discussion here, both pro and con. At the very least, the Township could have done a better job in communicating the reasons for the hunt, and addressed safety concerns raised by citizens.

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