JEFFERSON, MD – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today attended the dedication of the restored historic Catoctin Aqueduct, a landmark structure in Frederick County that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 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 and was known as one of the most beautiful aqueducts on the C&O Canal.
The restoration project was a partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), the Catoctin Aqueduct Restoration Fund, Inc., and the Community Foundation of Frederick County, Inc. It received $2.7 million of federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and created more than 40 jobs. It is projected that restoration will attract approximately 520,000 additional visitors a year, providing more than $350,000 in economic benefit to the area.
“This is an outstanding day for all those who support and love the C&O National Historical Park,” said Senator Cardin, who was a strong supporter of the restoration. “I was here for the groundbreaking of the project and I am here today because of the importance of this restoration to the region and because it provided jobs for Marylanders. “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.”
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.