Georgetown Visitor Center



1057 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW Washington, DC 20007
Lock 4 near Georgetown Visitors Center.
Lock 4 near Georgetown Visitors Center, summer 2016.

NPS Photo

For continued information on the Georgetown Restoration process, read our press releases.

Construction is Beginning on Locks 3 and 4 in November, 2016

The C&O Canal National Historical Park is excited to begin the process of restoring the Georgetown C&O Canal area. Site preparations began on October 5th with the removal of the Georgetown Canal Boat from the Canal. The boat currently rests at Fletchers Cove as the Park assesses property relocation options.

The work on lock 3 will begin with dissembling and rebuilding the foundation and walls of the lock using original and added stone. New lock gates will be installed for lock 3.

Repairs to lock 4 will begin with repairs to the existing walls, and repairing of mortar joints. Depending on the state of the upper and lower lock gates, they will be replaced.

The last stage of construction will be paving and landscaping the area surrounding the locks.

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: The park plans to install a temporary dike and re-water the canal upstream from the Foundry Branch waste weir to Lock 5 next year. Although the canal cannot be re-watered to its typical depth (to ensure the safety of workers and property downstream) visitors will be able to canoe and kayak in this stretch of the canal.

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.

A map showing the range of construction for the Georgetown Locks Project.
Approximate Construction Area for Locks 3 and 4 and the Visitors Center.

NPS Photo


Related Sites:

Georgetown Heritage is the C&O Canal’s official Friends Group in Georgetown. Find out more about our efforts to restore, revitalize, and re-envision the C&O Canal and how you can get involved at

For more information on culturally significant tourist sites in DC, visit the Cultural Tourism DC site.

Learn more about the Georgetown Business Improvement District involvement and local events.

Discover all that Washington DC has to offer at the Official Tourism Site of DC.


Visitor Centers

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Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740


(301) 739-4200
This phone number is answered Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm.

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