WASHINGTON — The National Park Service and the Georgetown Heritage, a non-profit, hosted a community celebration to mark the complete restoration of Locks 3 and 4 along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in Georgetown.
Lock 3, located near 30th St. Bridge, and Lock 4, near Thomas Jefferson St., were built between 1829-1831, according to NPS. It took artisans using tools from the 1800s two years to fully reconstruct them.
Craftsman used light gray sandstone form the Aquia Creek, a tributary in Virginia that flows into the Potomac River. This type of sandstone helped construct several of the District's landmarks including the White House and U.S. Capitol Building, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Historic restoration takes a lot of precision. The multi-year project began on Oct. 27 2016, when the canal was drained from Lock 5.
"Each stone from the wall of Lock 3 was cataloged, disassembled and reassembled in its original location," NPS said.
Excavation work was completed by Clarke Construction under contract with the National Park Service, according to a press release from 2016. The restoration of Locks 3 and 4 ran slightly behind schedule: NPS originally projected it to be completed in 2018.
The gates were originally made using southern yellow pine.
NPS and city leaders provided a short update on plans to fully restore the canal, and shared the timeline for re-introducing replica canal boats in 2020.
The event also included music and children's activities.
The National Park Service brought a pair of mules to the canal in May, to teach children about how mules used to pull canal boats, walking along the towpath.