Construction Updates - Georgetown

Looking up from down between two tall parallel stone walls with a crane lowering a very large wooden gate between the walls
Installing the downstream lock gates in Lock 3 October 2018

National Park Service

Lock 3

Current Progress - Updated 11/16/2018

  • Installation of gates
    • Lock gate fabrication off-site-Complete
    • Gates installation-Final adjustments from testing period.
  • Reconstruction of Lock 3 walls-Finishing Work
    • The walls of the lock are now largely rebuilt, current work involves final reviews by the project team.
  • Installation of lampposts-Nearly Complete
  • Installation of tree pits- Complete
  • Stormwater drainage and utility work-Complete
  • Installation of park benches-north side- Complete
  • Tree planting - Complete
  • Reconstruction of surrounding landscaping-In Progress

Upcoming Work

  • Installation of water fountain
  • Laying down sod
  • Final inspections and punchlist work
Looking up between two high stone walls. Tall wooden gates open on either side.
New lock gates in Lock 4 - October 2018

Lock 4

Current Progress - Updated 11/16/2018

  • Installation of gates
    • Lock gate fabrication off-site-Complete
    • Gates installation-Final adjustments from testing period.
  • Work on concrete mitre sill * - Complete
  • Repointing rubble stone walls- Complete
  • Repointing ashlar stone walls- Complete
  • Re-installation of iron fence-Complete

*repointing is the removal and replacement of weathered mortar

Upcoming Work

  • Final inspections and punchlist work
*a mitre sill is the raised part of the bed of a canal lock against which the parts of the gates abut in closing.
Excavated area in surrounded by buildings in an urban setting Two parallel light colored cut stone walls under construction.  Construction is down in a excavate surrounded by buildings in an urban setting
Lock 3 - Fully dissembled - July 2017 National Park Service
Reconstructing the walls of Lock 3 National Park Service

Construction Progress July-November 2017

These two images show the progress on reconstructing Lock 3. The lock is being reconstructed from a combination of original and new stones. The large stone piles in the foreground are rubble stone which will be used behind the cut stone of the lock walls themselves. The stone for the walls is stored just to the left of the construction area. This view is from Thomas Jefferson Street Bridge.

Construction site with a large crane and construction workers removing stones from a set of walls Large excavated area with large piles of large stones surrounded by buildings
Lock 3 work - March 2017 National Park Service
Lock 3 work - July 2017 National Park Service

Construction Progress - March-July 2017

These images show the before and after of the disassembling of Lock 3. The first image was taken in March 2017 just as the work to remove the lock walls began. Workers mapped and labeled all the individual stones and as many of them as possible with used in the reconstruction. The rock piles in the foreground are not stone from the lock walls stone its rubble stone which was used to fill behind the lock walls. Preparation work is underway to begin the lock reconstruction.

Image showing streets and buildings taken by a satellite

FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions):

Impact to Surrounding Area

The National Park Service and its contractors will make great efforts to minimize any negative impact of this work on the surrounding area. See the map below for the boundaries of the work area.

Q: Will the canal be drained for this construction project?
As of October 26, 2016, The canal was drained from Lock 5 to the Georgetown boundary during construction.

Q: Will the canal be drained for the whole duration of the project?
A: Yes, de-watering the canal is important to in relation to both of the workers and to protect the work itself.

Q: What will happen to the Justice Douglas statue?
A: As of the December 6, 2016, the Justice Douglas bust and support were crated and transferred to the Museum Resources Center in Hyattville, Maryland for cleaning and restoration. It will be put back in place after construction at Locks 3 and 4 is complete.

Q: How will site access be limited during construction?
A chain link fence will be erected around the job site to ensure safety, and all building materials and activities will remain within the fence line. There will be no public access to the fenced-in area.

Q: What road closures, if any, will happen?
The Canal towpath will be closed between Thomas Jefferson and 30th Streets NW. The towpath, pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be redirected to Water Street and M Street. Please note that bicycles are to follow rules of the road and flow of traffic. Both streets are one-way. Both 30th Street and Thomas Jefferson Street NW will remain open to traffic for the duration of construction.

Q: Why was the European Basswood tree taken down?
For the heavy-lifting of the project to begin, the European basswood tree near Lock 3 had to, unfortunately, be removed. The park worked with engineers and restoration experts to try to work around the tree during construction, but there was no way to do so and keep the tree intact.

Q: Will there be any parking limits because of the construction area?
A construction area entrance on 30th Street NW will occupy one or two street parking spaces.

Q: When will construction work happen during the week?
Work will occur during regular business hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Last updated: November 16, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740



Contact Us