Friday, March 22, 2013

C and O Canal Big Slackwater Towpath Restoration

For the 2013 outdoor season, hikers, bikers, and other enthusiasts will finally have access to the entire Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath.

The Big Slackwater section of the 184.5-mile hiking and biking trail was closed after flooding in 1996. The stretch along the Potomac River near Williamsport had been the only disruption of the famous towpath from Cumberland, Md., to Washington, D.C.

Prior to the completion of restoration work, towpath visitors had to detour off the trail and onto a dangerous route with no shoulders following 4.5 miles along Dam 4, Dellinger and Avis Mill roads.

The Big Slackwater project was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as a Line Item Construction (LIC) project.

Historically, the Big Slackwater portion of the C & O Canal allowed barge traffic to move up and down the river proper in the slack water above Dam Number 4. 

source: C&O Canal Association

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