Bridge work starts, but delayed again

by Geoff Fox

Materials shortages have stopped the long-awaited work that just began to restore a bridge over the C&O canal in Hancock.

Last November, officials with the C&O Canal National Historical Park announced the bridge over the canal to the Tonoloway park and Potomac River would be closed to vehicular traffic after an inspection found corrosion under the steel structure and the bridge not being in a stable condition to carry heavy loads.

The replacement and repair of the bridge was initially set for September, however there were delays then, pushing any construction back until November.

A crew from Aspen Construction began work on November 23, preparing the bridge to be removed the following day before a three-day break. Work was to resume November 30.

As of December 7, work had not resumed on the bridge, but there is a reason for that.

According to Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers for the C&O Canal National Historical Park Christina Hanson, there has been a slight delay in in installing the new bridge due to a materials shortage.

“We still anticipate work being completed in winter 2020,” she said in an email.

The new bridge is being fabricated off-site.

Park officials are still waiting for a revised construction schedule with an expectation there won’t be a delay past the original anticipated completion timeline.