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Barge Bash expected to occur even with culvert work on C&O Canal

April 13, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

HANCOCK -- There will be water in the canal for the Barge Bash, according to Hancock Mayor Dan Murphy.

There was a danger this year's event would be canceled because a leaking culvert on the section of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal that runs past the town is scheduled for repair this year, C&O Canal National Historical Park Superintendent Kevin Brandt said last week. The canal's water level in the Hancock area was reduced last fall and it was completely dry in areas last week. The canal wasn't expected to be filled again until after the repair work has been done.

Murphy had said last week that if there wasn't water in the canal, there probably wouldn't be a barge bash.

Murphy met with Brandt on Friday, pitching a dike system to temporarily rewater part of the canal for the June 26 event. The mayor said he received a call from Brandt on Monday saying that part of the canal could be rewatered for the event.

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"So we are pretty excited up here in Hancock" and appreciative of the Park Service's efforts, Murphy said.

Brandt could not be reached for comment late Monday or Tuesday. Deputy Superintendent Brian Carlstrom couldn't be reached Tuesday.

The section to be rewatered is downstream from the culvert and runs from the boat ramp to the Potomac River to another bridge that crosses the canal, Murphy said.

The Barge Bash is a popular event and contest, in which people construct creatively designed "barges" or boats to float down the canal. As a member of the Hancock Arts Council, which took over sponsoring the Barge Bash last year, Murphy is chairman of this year's event.

Carlstrom is expected to attend the Hancock Town Council meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall to share information about the canal project.

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