April 26, 2010

SENATOR ATTENDS GROUNDBREAKING FOR RESTORATON OF CATOCTIN AQUEDUCT

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the restoration of the Catoctin Aqueduct, a project that will receive a total of $3.6 million in combined federal-state funding, including money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

 

The National Parks Conservation Association estimates that the restoration of the aqueduct will increase visitation to the area by 10,000 visitors a year and that every $1 spent on the project will stimulate the local economy by $4, resulting in more jobs.  

 

The Catoctin Aqueduct was first erected in the early 1800s by the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Company to carry the canal over major tributaries of the Potomac River.

The National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with the Catoctin Aqueduct Restoration Fund, Inc., and the Community Foundation of Frederick County, Inc., has completed the final design of the restoration project.  

 

"I strongly supported this project because of the historic significance of the Catoctin Aqueduct to our region and the importance of directing recovery dollars into programs that will have a regional impact and that will create jobs for Marylanders," said Senator Cardin.   "This restoration also will help stimulate tourism and development as more people come to view the site at which the C&O Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad first competed to cross Catoctin Creek, a major tributary of the Potomac."

 

Located in Frederick County, the Aqueduct was a three-arch structure with a center elliptical arch.  It is one of 11 stone aqueducts along the 184-mile C&O Canal, and the only one that lies in ruin. The structure deteriorated after closure of the canal operations in 1924.  It had a major failure in 1973 when the weakened structure partially collapsed into Catoctin Creek.