Conococheague Creek Aqueduct Restoration
C&O Canal aqueducts are, in effect, water bridges that carry canal boats over creeks and rivers that flow into the Potomac River. Built from 1833 to 1835, the Conococheague Aqueduct is the fifth of 11 such “works of art” on the canal. In 1920, the berm parapet dramatically collapsed along with a canal boat into the creek. The parapet was rebuilt using a wood wall and outrigger system and functioned until the canal ceased operations in 1924. This project was intended to restore the aqueduct to working condition with its appearance of the early 1920s.
The aqueduct comprises three, 60-foot span circular segment limestone masonry arch barrels that span Conococheague Creek and bear on stone masonry piers and abutments that are founded on natural rock. The scope for restoration included rebuilding the aqueduct piers; rebuilding and lining the aqueduct prism so that it is safe, sustainable, and watertight; repairing the stone work; installing period-appropriate guardrail; clearing the canal prism upstream with the construction of a berm; and removing the existing berm on the downstream side so that the entire stretch could be re-watered. The project was designed in accordance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and restored a significant historic resource to provide unique opportunities for visitors. All restoration work complied with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties by the Secretary of the Interior.
National Park Service-National Capital Region