Project Detail

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Big Slackwater Towpath Reconstruction & Stabilization

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park Williamsport, MD

Scope of Work

Cianbro has reconstructed approximately 8,000 linear feet (1.5 miles) of the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath. Originally built in the 1820’s, the towpath is bounded by the Potomac River on one side and limestone cliffs along the other. Floods in 1972, 1985, and 1996 compromised the condition of the towpath in this area, making it impassable. Cianbro’s restoration of the Big Slackwater area reconnected a missing link in the 184.5 mile Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath, providing uninterrupted public access from Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC. The project included installing piers and constructing an elevated bike path and natural stone wall fascia panel along the river’s edge.

Project Details

  • Placed 121 cast-in-place foundations for the elevated towpath sections
  • Placed 600 linear feet of jet grouting to stabilize soils adjacent to the existing historic stone wall
  • Placed 400 cubic yards of substructure concrete
  • Constructed a 5,000 linear foot precast elevated walkway
  • Placed 5,000 linear feet of precast stone finished skirt wall
  • Restored/rebuilt 15,000 square feet of existing historical stone wall
  • Stabilized and graded 3,000 linear feet of existing at-grade towpath

Lean, Innovative, and Unique Project Solutions

The majority of the work took place from barges and floating platforms on the Potomac River. All construction materials were water-transported to the work areas.


ABC Chesapeake Shores Excellence in Construction Award