C&O Canal Invites Public Comment on Williamsport Canal Project

C&O Canal Invites Public Comment on Williamsport Canal Project

Williamsport, MD: The National Park Service will host a public information meeting regarding the proposed restoration of canal operations at Williamsport, Washington County, Maryland, between milepost 98.78 to milepost 99.95 of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. The meeting will be held on August 5, 2009 at 7pm at the Williamsport Community Building on Park Road in Byron Memorial Park in Williamsport, Maryland.
"I invite the public to meet the planning team and learn about the numerous proposed preservation projects in the area," park superintendent Kevin Brandt said. The meeting will present some possible alternatives for these projects. The meeting agenda will allow the public to propose additional alternatives.
The project encompasses the area from Lock 44 to 600 feet upstream of the Conococheague Aqueduct. The project will seek to rehabilitate the municipal storage yard adjacent to the Cushwa basin, repair Lock 44 leaks, and restore the historic railroad lift bridge. Also being considered is the restoration of the Conococheague Aqueduct and the canal prism and towpath for a mile upstream of the aqueduct, the introduction of canal boat operations, and historic preservation and visitor services work at the Cushwa Warehouse. The project team will work with Williamsport town leaders to develop visitor tours of both the canal and the town using shared themes, and to develop the cultural landscape of the project area and the Lock 44 lock house using interpretive wayside exhibits and other informational signs. The development of a new visitor center at the Trolley Barn at the Cushwa Basin area will also be considered as a part of this project.
A 30-day public scoping period is being held to solicit public comments on this proposal. During this scoping period, the public is invited to identify any issues or concerns they might have with the proposed project so that the National Park Service can appropriately consider them in the environmental assessment. You may submit comments electronically at the National Park Service's Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/choh) or submit written comments to:
Superintendent, C&O Canal National Historical Park
1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Please submit your scoping comments by September 4, 2009. Once the environmental assessment is developed, it will be made available for public review for a 30-day period. If you wish to be added to the park's mailing list for this or other announcements, please be sure to indicate that in your response.