Today was a big day for Williamsport, Maryland as it hosted both a ribbon-cutting for the newly-restored Conococheague Aqueduct and the ground-breaking for the new Park headquarters.
In attendance for this historic ribbon cutting, was Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan; U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both D-Md.; state Sen. George Edwards, R-Washington/Allegany/Garrett; Del. Mike McKay, R-Washington/Allegany; U.S. Rep. David Trone, D-Md.; National Park Service acting Deputy Director for Operations David Vela; Williamsport Mayor Bill Green; Washington County Board of Commissioners President Jeff Cline; and C&O Canal Superintendent Kevin Brandt.
The aqueduct, a McMullan project with Peck, Peck & Associates, underwent a a two-and-a-half-year restoration with the National Park Service-National Capital Region. The Conococheague Aqueduct is not just the only aqueduct along the C&O Canal to carry water, but also the only place anywhere in North America where visitors can ride a boat across an historic aqueduct and through a working lock.
Previously, the aqueduct was part of the C&O Canal’s shipping channel that once operated across 184.5 miles from Washington, DC, to Cumberland. The aqueduct, which allowed cargo boats to pass over Conococheague Creek, had not been operational since 1924. The National Park Service said the watering of the canal — along with other features along the Williamsport section of the park — makes the segment like no other place in North America.