Please sign the petition below to support the C&O Canal Trust’s advocacy for continued funding from the Maryland State Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for towpath repair and resurfacing. Complete the form that follows to show your support before midnight on May 10.
We, the undersigned, as frequent users of the towpath that comprises the 184.5-mile spine of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, request that the State of Maryland award $1.85 million in FY21 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding for the continued rehabilitation of the C&O Canal towpath.
The C&O Canal towpath is one of the premier cycling routes on the east coast, each year attracting legions of cyclists from the Greater Washington region and beyond. They use the towpath as a recreational trail and as a commuter route, and, with the linking of bike trails nationwide, the towpath is an increasingly important tourism attraction for the state of Maryland.
Improvements to the towpath are essential to restoring and maintaining a smooth, safe, continuous trail surface – one with no roots, rocks, or ruts, and with good drainage during high water events.
We applaud the State of Maryland for awarding a total of $4.4 million in TAP funding to the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) over the past four years to rehabilitate 65 miles of the towpath. This work, currently underway, will significantly improve sections of the towpath in Montgomery County, Frederick County, and Washington County.
We request that the State of Maryland approve the Park’s FY21 TAP funding application to repair and resurface a further 12.59 miles in Allegany County from mile marker 155.8 (Paw Paw Tunnel) to mile marker 168.4 (Town Creek Aqueduct). Rehabilitation of this section of the towpath, together with the federally-funded rehabilitation of an additional five miles between mile marker 168.4 (Town Creek Aqueduct) and mile marker 173.4 (Spring Gap), will provide newly resurfaced sections for almost 18 miles.
As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) in 2021, we ask that the State of Maryland continue to partner with the Park and the C&O Canal Trust to ensure that the C&O Canal towpath is a first-class venue for all who use it – welcoming, safe, and robust, regardless of the weather.