Catoctin Creek Aqueduct Stabilization

McMullan determined the cause of the collapse and designed a sustainable restoration of the stone masonry arch aqueduct that carried boats across Catoctin Creek on the C&O Canal near Lander, MD. Similar substantially intact aqueducts of the same period on the C&O Canal, as well as aqueducts on other canals, were studied to understand the historic building techniques, deterioration from environmental effects, and causes of structural distress that can occur in these structures.

The Catoctin aqueduct failed due to a combination of factors: an unbalanced arrangement of arches, unreliable waterproofing techniques, weak arch geometry, and a soft layer in the bedrock under the west pier. To stabilize this historic aqueduct, the pier foundations were underpinned under water and a system of grouting and internal reinforcement was used to stabilize the extent remains. Salvaged stones were identified by type and located accurately within the restored arches. All restoration work complied with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties by the Secretary of the Interior. For more information, read the white paper/article co-authored by Denis McMullan, PE and Douglas Bond, PE, SE.

Frederick, MD

National Park Service-National Capital Region and the Catoctin Aqueduct Restoration Fund

Quinn Evans Architects

General Contractor
Corman Construction


  • Certificate of Adoption for the Restoration of the Catoctin Aqueduct