National Park Service to host Catoctin Aqueduct Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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Date: September 30, 2011
Contact: Hollie Lynch, 301-491-0149

Jefferson, MD - On Saturday, October 15, 2011, at 10:00 a.m., the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completed restoration of the Catoctin Aqueduct. There will be light refreshments, live music, and interpretive programs from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Guest speakers will include United States Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, representatives from the offices of United States Senator Barbara Mikulski and United States Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, Frederick County Commissioner David Gray, Dr. George E. Lewis Jr., President of the Catoctin Aqueduct Restoration Fund Inc. along with several others.

Parking for the event is at the Point of Rocks MARC Train Station Parking Lot, located nearby at 3900 Clay Street, Point of Rocks, Maryland 21777. Free shuttles will operate from 8:00 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. and will resume following the ceremony from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

The Catoctin Aqueduct, one of eleven aqueducts located along the 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Catoctin Aqueduct was known as the most beautiful aqueduct on the Canal. On October 31, 1973, two of the three arches of the 139-year-old Aqueduct collapsed from frequent flooding.

Rehabilitation of the Catoctin Aqueduct began in the summer of 2010 and finished in late July 2011. During this time the missing arches were restored using many of the Aqueduct's original stones retrieved from Catoctin Creek. In addition, the NPS improved visitor access to Lander and facilitated the work and stabilization of the wing walls that protect the aqueduct from flooding. Moreover, the project included removal of both the World War II era Bailey bridge that has served as passage across Catoctin Creek for the last 37 years as well as the remnants of the failed footbridge erected in the 1970's after the Aqueduct collapsed. The project also included restoration of the stream bank and adjacent areas.

This project was made possible through an allocation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (
ARRA) funding along with funds raised by Catoctin Aqueduct Restoration Fund, Inc. and The Community Foundation of Frederick County.Additional funding came from individuals, families, corporations, the C&O Canal Association, Tourism Reinvestment in Promotion and Product Program Development grants from the Tourism Council of Frederick County, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, a State of Maryland Bond Bill, and funds received through the Maryland State Highway Administration's Transportation Enhancement Program.The Catoctin Aqueduct Adopt-A-Stone Program also raised money for this important project.

The ARRA funds were part of a stimulus package that was an important component of President Obama's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century.Under the ARRA, Department of Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures - our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage - while helping American families and their communities prosper again. The Department of Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

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