C&O Canal Construction and Project Updates

By May 23, 2019News

At 184.5 miles long and with more historical structures than any other national park, the C&O Canal National Historical Park is always a work in progress. This summer, however, visitors will be able to enjoy the fruits of several big projects nearing completion.

Georgetown: Locks 3 and 4 have been completely rebuilt, and the Park anticipates re-watering the canal between Georgetown and Fletchers Cove this summer. Watch for information on a ribbon cutting for this project later this summer.

Locks 5 through 22 (Fletchers Cove to Violettes Lock): The repair and replacement of a number of locks, culverts, waste water weirs, and other canal structures is almost done. The canal is now re-watered from Violettes Lock to Pennyfield. Operation of the Charles F. Mercer canal boat will resume later this summer, once work on Lock 19 is completed and the canal has been re-watered in that area.

Williamsport: The rehabilitation of the Conococheague Aqueduct is expected to be complete by mid-July, assuming the weather cooperates! More information about a ribbon cutting for this project will be announced in the coming months.

 

Projects that are either underway or that will begin this summer:

Towpath resurfacing: The Park’s multiyear towpath resurfacing project is off to a strong start with the five miles between Edwards Ferry and Whites Ferry completed. A further 17 miles from Brunswick to Packhorse Ford near the Shepherdstown Bridge will be resurfaced this year. See our Towpath Resurfacing page for more information.

Paw Paw Tunnel: The Park will be continuing to scale the rock face above the towpath on the upstream end of the tunnel. The good news is that the tunnel will not be closed while work is underway. Instead, flaggers will be stationed at both ends of the tunnel to allow hikers and bikers to safely traverse the work zone. Delays are estimated to last from 5 to 10 minutes.

Bridge over Culvert 82: Planning for a bridge over the towpath washout at Culvert 82, downriver from Brunswick, is in progress. The Park’s goal is to have the bridge done by September. In the meantime, the Park is planning to install a temporary low- water crossing to help hikers and bikers safely cross the washout, and the Canal Towns Partnership is sponsoring a shuttle around the breach (More information coming soon).

Bench installations: Twenty new benches will be installed over the summer and fall at locations from Fletchers Cove (Mile 3) to Lock 56 (Mile 136). This will bring the total number of benches installed under our Bench Sponsorship Program to 57.

Visit www.nps.gov/choh for more information.