Photographing the pipeline route, Part 7: More of Delaware Township

More in Delaware Township NJ.
Worman Road
A protest sign along the route at Worman Road.

Worman Road head-on view
A head on view down the pipeline route looking south.

Worman Road to the north
A view of the route to the north. Note the really cool carriage warning sign below the speed limit sign. There are lots of those signs around this area and really shows the ultra-rural character of the region.

Covered Bridge Road Scenic View
A scenic wide-angle view of the country the pipeline will be going through.

Lower Creek Road Red Bridge Farm
Lower Creek Road is a really cool road. The Wickecheoke Creek runs along side it for a great distance, and it was rough and wild after all the snow melt. This shot is the entrance to the Red Bridge Farm, which appears to have been in operation for over 300 years. The pipeline is cutting the length of their property and also going across the creek.

Lower Creek Road view north
There was a big pause in time between the previous shot and this one. First a car was blocking the road for awhile, someone was parked talking to a resident who was on foot. As they went by I saw it was a protest car – the whole vehicle was covered in anti-fracking stickers! I guess they were interviewing people along the route. I then had to turn around, so I turned around in the gentlemen’s driveway. And promptly backed into his mailbox. Twice. Mortified I jumped out and apologized and offered to pay of for it. He refused after several tries but we got to talking a little. He immediately wanted to know if I was pro pipeline or con. He seemed very relieved when I said “con”, and he said I was free to take as many pictures of the land as I wanted, and very pointedly said he wouldn’t let any pipeline people on his land. He went back to clearing out his drainage ditch and I got back to taking pictures.

Lower creek road view south across Red Bridge Farm
Here you can see the iconic red bridge of the Red Bridge Farm. And the pipeline route crossing the creek, cutting off their driveway, and then mounting up a very steep ridge.

Lower Creek Road, another view north
Yet another protest sign along the route.

Lower Creek Road, closeup of Red Bridge
A close up of the red bridge and steep ridge with the creek below.

Lower Creek Road north alternate view
An alternate angle looking north.

Lower Creek Road Posted
Another Posted sign along the route.

Lower Creek Road Wickecheoke view
The wild and wooly Wickecheoke after snow melt run off. The Creek has a preserve dedicated to it.

Lower Creek Road Wickecheoke protest sign
Another protest sign along the creek. I wonder if this area is prone to flooding…

Photographing the pipeline route, Part 6: Delaware Township

Part six takes me into territory I’m less familiar with.  Mostly I only know route 29, and the route 179/202/31 corridors.  All the land in between I’ve only explored minutely.  If I get any names or details wrong please let me know. Also the boundaries between Ringoes and Delaware Township is a bit fuzzy to me and there’s lots of little neighborhoods mixed in for good measure.
Lambertville Headquarters Road
Around Alexauken Creek the power line easement converts from high tension power lines to regular power lines. In many cases the cut looks much smaller as a result, which means PennEast will have to again widen cuts to make room for construction.

Lambertville Headquarters Road second shot
An alternate view of the route. As you can see the cut is fairly narrow here.

Cedar Lane Farm Posted sign
A Posted sign from Cedar Lane Farm adjacent to route.

Brookville Hollow Road sculpture
On Brockville Hollow Road I came across the “Turtlemoon Studio” which appears to be adjacent to the pipeline route. They have this simply awesome eagle sculpture at the base of their driveway. Anyone know anything more about them?

Brookville Hollow Road Looking South
A view of the pipeline route looking south from the road. Another steep slope, and you can see the cut is not sharp like in many places but somewhat over grown and still very narrow.

Brookville Hollow Road Looking South Alternate Angle
An alternate angle of previous shot.

Brookville Hollow Road Looking North
This is the view looking north along the route from the road. There is a beautiful fenced in property here with gorgeous landscaping. The pipeline route appears like it will cut right across their driveway. There’s a small stream right behind this house that the pipeline will also go across.

Sandy Bridge Road Looking south
A relatively flat and open section of the route, with the pipeline going through an open field.

Sandy Bridge Road Alternate Shot
Alternate shot of Sandy Bridge Road.

Sandy Bridge Road Anti pipeline sign
A protest sign next to the route.

Sandy Bride Road Looking North
A shot looking north. You can see how little the cut is here too.

Sandy Bridge Road wider shot
A wider shot of the previous one.

Photographing the pipeline route, Part 5: Northern West Amwell, NJ

This portion of the pipeline route goes through the northern part of West Amwell, NJ.

Rocktown Lambertville Road electrical sub-station
The power company has been beefing up the electrical sub-station here. Residents have complained a bit about the constant trucks and construction activity. Now two years later they’ll have to deal with an order of magnitude more headaches when the pipeline construction crew comes in. I also don’t know how good an idea it is to come this close to an electrical sub-station with a steel pipeline. There’s a lot of high voltage very close to the ground here.

Pipeline construction will also cut across the only access road into the sub-station.

This view is looking southward from the road.

Rocktown Lambertville Road sub-station close up
A zoomed in version of the previous shot.

Rocktown Lambertville Road looking northward
A view from the road looking north. As you can see this is somewhat hilly country. In the foreground you see the pipeline will cut right across a person’s driveway. This is “Fair Chase”, a very cool house with unique architecture.

Rocktown Lambertville Road looking north, alternate view
An alternate angle from the prior shot.

Rocktown Lambertville Road, Fair Chase Estate
A view of Fair Chase Estate in relation to the pipeline route. You can see pictures of this stunning home on zillow. I wonder what the pipeline will do to their property values? You can see the house in this shot on the extreme middle-left. There is a small stream in the fold of the land that runs through here that you can’t see that goes behind the house.

Route 179 looking south west
The pipeline route turns here to change direction a bit. The turn is right at the house you see in the picture, so they’ll be within a few hundred feet of the pipeline. Route 179 is another major route into Lambertville.

Route 179 looking south west, closeup
A zoomed in version of the previous shot.

Route 179 looking south west, wide angle
A wider angle view showing more of the route. The route is running all through farmland here.

Route 179 looking north east
Reverse view this time looking to the north east from 179. More farmland. It’s a good thing I have a 4WD pickup, the mud here was really thick and even in 4wd I was worried about getting out!

Alexauken Creek Road
Alexauken Creek is another category 1 stream in the area that the pipeline is going to cross. West Amwell Township has gone to extraordinary lengths to protect this stream as a vital one to the watersheds in the area. You can read the Alexauken Creek Watershed Protection Plan here. During times of heavy rain and snow melt this creek turns into a real beast, as it did when I came through taking pictures. Over 600+ acres of land around it has been preserved as the Alexauken Creek Wildlife Management Area.

This is a really important water way. So of course the PennEast pipeline will be going right through it in some very hilly areas.

This picture is of the “Titus Property”, land that’s been permanently preserved. The pipeline is running just a few hundred yards from this property.

Alexauken Creek Road, closeup
A zoom in of the previous shot.

Photographing the pipeline route, Part 4: West Amwell, NJ

Part four of the pipeline route series is back in West Amwell, NJ.  Pictures here are from Woodens Lane, Old Route 518 West, and route 518.  This section highlights where the pipeline route comes within a couple of hundred feet of Lambertville’s primary water supply, the Swan Creek Reservoir.

Wooden’s Lane, Joint Protected Land
This shot shows land that was protected just last year as a joint effort between West Amwell Township and the D&R Greenway Land Trust. This is 43 acres of farmland and woods that was supposed to be protected in perpetuity. The pipeline route is coming very close to this parcel, you can see the electrical towers where the pipeline will be in the upper right. It took eight years to get this land protected, and a slight variation of the pipeline route could end up going through it. You can read more about the conservation effort here. There are several other protected parcels in this area as well.

You can see the long list of prohibited activities on the West Amwell sign, including prohibitions on removing soil and vegetation from anywhere on the land. I guess PennEast will just cross through those portions of the sign if they come through.

Woodens Lane, zoom in on towers
A zoomed in shot showing the towers more clearly.

Woodens Lane, more of Goat Hill
A slightly different angle showing more of the ridge on Goat Hill. Our house is up there on the ridge.

Route 518, United Water site
Just off of route 518 going into Lambertville, NJ is the Swan Creek Reservoir, owned and operated by the United Water company. This is the primary water supply for Lambertville. The pipeline route goes within a couple of hundred feet of the reservoir in very hilly and steep terrain.

Route 518, United Water site reservoir
A picture of the reservoir. Sorry it’s a bit hard to see with all the trees. The horizontal line demarks the edge of the reservoir and has spillway controls for when they need to dump water into Swan Creek below it.

Route 518, looking south along pipeline route
This shot is looking southwards along the power line easement. As you can see the towers are really big, and the cut is going to have to be widened significantly for the pipeline to run next to it. Notice all of the boulders around here, In this area the diabase bedrock is right at the surface and there is no soil at all.

518 also a major thorough fare in the area, one of the main arteries leading into Lambertville city. Traffic is going to be a nightmare when they close this for construction.

Route 518, looking north along pipeline route
The reverse view of the above, this is looking northward along the route. You can clearly see the power company’s service road on the left of the towers. To the right is the Swan Creek Reservoir (just out of the shot). If they go left for the pipeline they’ll have to move the service road or cut a full 100′ more to accommodate construction. Otherwise they’d have to move the service road to the right, which might also require more cuts to that side. But that side also has the reservoir, so I see no good choices here.

Oh and of course this route is quite steep. Runoff is going to be terrible the more they widen.

Route 518, closeup of previous shot
The same as the previous shot but zoomed in.

A wider angle looking south. You can see the small stream to the right that runs along and crosses the route here.

Route 518, looking north, different angle
Another shot to the north. I took this shot to show how the power line towers are perfectly centered in the easement. This is true of the whole area where there high voltage towers. This means PennEast will make this big ugly scar in the country side even wider, making it uglier, run off worse, invasive species more of a problem, and further impacting wild life.

Route 518, looking southward zoomed
A zoomed-in shot to the south with the towers centered. The regular power lines you see running across the view are Old Route 518 West.

Old Route 518 West, looking northward
Old route 518 runs a couple hundred feet to the south of Route 518 and parallels it. You can see a car on route 518 in this shot.

Old Route 518 West looking southward
The southern view from Old Route 518. This is right next to the electrical service road on the right of the shot. You can see more boulders here. Again, if they’re going to preserve the service road they’ll have to run the pipeline on the left and severely widen the cut. Diabase is very shallow or at the surface here so intensive techniques including blasting will have to be used. Slopes here are modest but still a concern.

Old Route 518 West, looking southward
Slightly different angle of previous shot.

Old Route 518 West, looking southward. No trespassing!
Lots of different no trespassing signs here 🙂

Photographing the pipeline route, Part 3: More Hopewell, NJ and Baldpate Mountain

Part 3 of the pipeline route pictures stays in Hopewell NJ.  This includes some views of the route going up Baldpate Mountain and through a number of very sensitive areas.

Valley Road next to Howell Living History Farm
This shot is looking down Valley Road towards Pleasant Valley Road. On the right is the Howell Living History Farm. This is a Mercer County owned farm that’s dedicated to teaching about farming techniques used centuries ago. They do real farming and have a great deal of live stock on site as well.

In the distance you see the electrical towers marching up Baldpate Mountain, where the pipeline is proposed to go as well. Baldpate is an ecologically unique feature in New Jersey due to its location and geography.

Valley Road Closeup of Baldpate site
Here I zoomed in on the towers going up Baldpate. This is a somewhat rugged area and the diabase bedrock is within just a couple of feet of the surface. In some areas it’s at the surface. They’d need to blast to get the pipeline down to the required 8′. As you can see in this shot the slopes are not just in the line of the power lines but in some cases perpendicular to the lines as well. To fit the pipeline in they’re going to have to widen the power line easement cut significantly (because you can’t put the pipeline right under the towers).

Valley Road near Pleasant Valley Road
This is near the intersections of Valley Road and Pleasant Valley Road. On the left is still Howell Living History Farm. As you can see the pipeline will be running just a few hundred yards from the farm. You can’t see it here but it also is crossing Moore’s Creek and crossing right at the intersection of the two roads.

We’re swimming in an ocean of “bad” if the pipeline goes through here. Construction will be bad for the farm. Running through or under Moore’s creek is a very, very bad idea. It’s a category 1 stream that ends in the Delaware river, and carries a lot of water when it rains or we have snow melt. They’re going to be blasting around here, distributing material all over. Then going up the side of Baldpate they’ll be disturbing the ecology and worsening run off.

Baldpate is a preserved state park and they’re running right over it.

Pleasant valley road
A view from Pleasant Valley road of the towers and route. Sorry for the poor quality, that was through my truck’s windows.

Pleasant valley Road, the Hunter Farm
This is one of a few Hunter farms in the area 🙂 This one as you can see is a 54 acre preserved farm with historic barns on the property. You can’t see it here but the pipeline will be running right through this historic farm.

Pleasant Valley Road, Towers going up Baldpate
A view of the towers marching along Baldpate.

Pleasant Valley Road – Closeup
A closeup of the previous shot

Pleasant Valley Road – Closeup
Another closeup of the previous shot

Pleasant Valley Road and Valley Road
This is the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Valley Road. You can see the power lines going right over head. You can see them crossing Moore’s Creek here and then running right through the intersection. It’s right next to a bridge that already has sustained some damage from all the ice we’ve had the past couple of winters.

Valley Road – Closeup of Moore’s Creek
This is a closeup of the Creek from the Valley Road bridge. As you can see it’s brown and swollen from the rain and snow melt run off.

Pleasant Valley Road View up slope
A view of the towers and pipeline route at the intersection.

Pleasant Valley Road closeup of tower
A closeup of one of the towers to give you a notion of how big they are. The easement is only 100′ wide and PennEast needs to stay about 25 feet away from the base. I’d ball park these towers as around 30 feet wide at the bottom. That means for PennEast to create it’s construction zone 100′ wide, it’ll have to clear cut an extra 40 feet or so on one side. So they’ll be widening the size of the cut by almost 50% more than we have today.

Pleasant Valley Road and Valley Road closeup
Closeup of the sign and looking to the west.

Valley Road – Sheep Farm
This is a sheep farm that’s on Valley Road. The pipeline will be running across the middle of the entire farm. If you look closely you can see the sheep on the bottom right.  There are other farms along here that you can’t see which you can only get to via an access road. The pipeline is going to cut right across that access road, cutting off people from their farms.

Photographing the pipeline route, Part 2: More Hopewell, NJ

This is part 2 of my series of posts showing pictures of the pipeline route and demonstrating exactly who the pipeline will be impacting and what sort of terrain they’re going to be building through.  These are all in Hopewell NJ in Mercer County.  Most people think of Trenton when they think of Mercer County, but in fact the North western part is quite beautiful farming country.

Goat Hill Road looking Southwest

A view from Goat Hill Road. You can see the powerlines going through the middle of the shot, the pipeline will be right next to those on the ground.

Goat Hill Road Steep Slope
A few up one of them many steep slopes this will be going over.

Goat Hill Road zoom in of same shot
Same shot, just zoomed in a bit.

Goat Hill Road field
This is the field where the route takes a left turn towards Baldpate mountain.

Goat Hill Closeup
Closeup of previous shot

Valley Road Steep Slope
Where the pipeline route crosses Valley Road you can see it has to immediately go up a fairly steep slope.

Valley Road Closeup
Closeup of previous shot.

Valley Road looking towards Baldpate
This shows where the pipeline starts going towards Baldpate Mountain

Valley Road Closeup towards Baldpate
A closeup of the previous shot. As you can see we are crossing yet another farm, and then up we go onto the steep slopes of Baldpate Mountain.

Valley Road, Pleasant Valley Farm
This shows where the pipeline will be cutting across the length of Pleasant valley Farm, and incidentally cutting across their driveway.