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National Park Service awards contract to repair towpath breach at Angler's

National Park Service awards contract to repair towpath breach at Angler's

Hagerstown, MD: The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded a $3.36 million contract to Classic Site Solutions Inc., of Springfield, Massachusetts to repair the towpath breach near Angler's Inn at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park (C&O Canal NHP).
Known as Angler's Breach, this 125-foot gap in the towpath occurred in September 2008 as a result of torrential rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Hannah. A temporary bypass was installed shortly after the breach to allow visitor use of the towpath to detour around the damaged area. The bypass blocks the flow of water in the canal prism for seven and one-half miles downstream. This area of the towpath has breached previously during especially high flood levels. The planned repair includes a more sustainable design that will better resist the pressures and erosion of future storms and floods. Upon completion the canal will be watered once again.
"This project will restore the towpath and canal's historic continuity while improving visitor safety. This area is a gateway to the popular Widewater area of the canal as well as a necessary link to return water to the seven-mile stretch of the canal downstream. By making these repairs in a sustainable way we will minimize the potential for breaches in the future." said Superintendent Kevin Brandt.
This project became eligible for funding because of a $100,000 donation from the C&O Canal Trust, the park's official non-profit park partner. This donation expedited the engineering studies needed to create a sustainable design. Construction funding is being provided by the NPS construction program and $1,100,000 received from the Maryland State Highway Administration's Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP).
"If it hadn't been for our donors rallying their support immediately after the breach, this project would not have been competitive and eligible for public funding," said Matthew Logan, President of the C&O Canal Trust. "Those supporters have had to wait 3 years to see their investment pay off, but their patience is finally being rewarded."
"We also need to recognize the leadership of Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and Montgomery County Councilman Roger Berliner. Each of these officials care for the park and worked hard to see that the repairs were funded," said Logan.
Classic Site Solutions Inc. is scheduled to begin repairs of the Angler's Breach in the late fall of 2011 with an anticipated completion targeted for late fall of 2012.

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