From Canal news at email@example.com.
The C&O Canal National Historical Park received two grants totaling $3.45 million from the Maryland Department of Transportation. The grants are part of the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and trail connectivity across the state.
The $2.45 million TAP grant for “A Rewatered Canal” will be used to rewater the canal from Violettes Lock (Lock #23) to Great Falls Tavern (Lock #20). Rewatering will increase recreation and transportation opportunities, including canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. This work will also allow the park’s packet boat, the Charles F. Mercer, to travel upstream as far as Swains Lock.
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 in Montgomery County.
The $1 million TAP grant for “Towpath Rehabilitation” will help launch year one of a proposed five-year program to address the worst portions of the canal towpath. This year’s TAP funding will support 12 miles of towpath resurfacing from Sharpsburg/Shepherdstown to Harpers Ferry. The TAP funds will be matched by a $472,000 investment by the National Park Service to resurface the towpath between Whites Ferry and Edwards Ferry.
With the connection to the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Trail, the C&O Canal Towpath has become a premier cycling routes. Towpath improvements are essential to maintain the surface similar in quality to the GAP trail -- with no roots, rocks, or ruts.
In 2016 the Allegany Trail Alliance and Senate Engineering conducted a detailed analysis of the towpath and created design drawings for necessary repairs, including priority areas for rehabilitation and a five-year plan for addressing these areas.
You can always find a more complete list of activities along the canal by viewing the calendar on the C&O Canal Association website, www.candocanal.org.