Georgetown Canal Plan: Comprehensive Infrastructure Assessment of the C&O Canal NHP in Georgetown

Georgetown Heritage and the National Park Service has hired a talented team of design professionals to create a world-class plan for the C&O Canal in Georgetown. The current and first phase of design aims to achieve a community and agency approved concept-plan and shall be referred to as the “Georgetown Canal Plan.”

McMullan, with its own multidisciplinary team, is spearheading the comprehensive infrastructure assessment that is being executed in parallel to the Georgetown Canal Plan. The C&O Canal within Georgetown has been subject to continued deferred maintenance; discontinuous repairs have occurred over time, and many restoration and construction records are incomplete. Invasive vegetation, in addition to intermittent flooding, has weakened the C&O Canal’s infrastructure and foundations over the past nearly 200 years.

Thus, the purpose of this comprehensive infrastructural assessment is to gain a full and comprehensive understanding of existing conditions and structural stability of the Canal. It has been assumed that failing and unstable Canal walls will need to be reconstructed, repaired, and repointed as appropriate, and where necessary, and the Canal’s Clay-liner may also need to be repaired. In addition, much of the Canal resides within flood-plains and will undoubtedly be subject to an increase in frequent flooding.

Findings of our assessment will inform the needs, priorities, and costs to ensure the Canal’s structural integrity is stable enough to withstand the shocks and stresses of future climate catastrophic events, enabling the Canal to permanently hold water for the next 50-100 years. It is also desired that the end state of the Canal will have four operating locks and water retained to a depth of six feet in each level. The constant water flow and depth will be controlled through the lock gate paddles and scum gutters.

McMullan Principal Douglas E. Bond, PE, SE is leading McMullan's efforts.

Location
Washington, DC

Client
Georgetown Heritage (in partnership with National Park Service)

Architect/Engineer
McMullan

General Contractor
TBD