CVB's Riford Testifies to Delegation, Bond Bill Approved to Help C&O Canal

CVB's Riford Testifies to Delegation, Bond Bill Approved to Help C&O Canal

The C&O Canal National Historical Park might get state money to help fix its only broken link - a 2.7-mile impassable gap south of Williamsport. Washington County's delegation to the General Assembly voted unanimously to seek a $200,000 bond bill to pay for enough engineering work to figure out a solution. The park would contribute another $140,000 and has three other sources committed to give $60,000. The total of public and private money would be $400,000. The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Washington County would contribute $15,000 to the study. The nonprofit C&O Canal Association also would give $15,000. A National Park Service grant would provide $30,000.
Flooding from Hurricane Agnes in 1972 demolished the towpath above Dam 4. The National Park Service repaired and reopened the park at Big Slackwater in 1995, but it was flooded again and was shut down. Fixing the park at Big Slackwater has been estimated to cost $15.5 million but could cost less. The $400,000, anchored by the bond bill, would pay for enough engineering work to figure out what needs to be done and how much it will cost.
Safety is a big concern. A detour of five to six miles has stretches with no shoulders. More than 30 people have been injured and taken to the hospital in incidents connected to the detour. The full legislature ended up approving the bond bill request, for $100,000.

News taken from The Crossroads newsletter distributed by the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau - www.marylandmemories.com