The C&O Canal National Historical Park was awarded $3.45 million from the Transportation Alternatives Program through the Maryland Department of Transportation, thanks to the vocal support of the C&O Canal Trust and the greater canal community: $2.45 million for “A Rewatered Canal” and $1 million for “Towpath Rehabilitation: A Safe Towpath.”
The $2.45 million “A Rewatered Canal” grant will be used to rewater the canal from Violettes Lock (Lock 23) to Great Falls Tavern (Lock 20). Rewatering this extremely popular section of the Park will increase recreation and transportation opportunities in addition to vastly improving the aesthetics of the canal in this section of the Park. Next year, the Park hopes to secure an additional $4.2 million in TAP funding to complete the rewatering project from the Great Falls Tavern (Lock 20) downstream to Lock 5, which would effectively rewater the remaining canal through all of Montgomery County.
The $1 million “Towpath Rehabilitation: A Safe Towpath” grant will help to launch year one of a proposed five-year program to address the sections of the canal towpath most in need of attention and to create a safer, world-class riding and hiking surface for our visitors. This year’s TAP funding will support 12 miles of towpath resurfacing from Sharpsburg/Shepherdstown to Harpers Ferry. With the connection to the Great Allegany Passage (GAP) Trail, the C&O Canal towpath has become one of the premier cycling routes on the east coast. The new surface will be a vast improvement for trail users, making the towpath a safer and more comfortable choice for transportation and recreation alike. The Park will apply each year for continued TAP funding throughout the five years of the project.
The C&O Canal Trust will be raising additional funds to supplement these projects. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months!