Safety Improvements to Lock 34 Parking Lot
The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, will undertake work at the Lock 34 access parking lot, located on Harpers Ferry Road, Washington County, Maryland. The existing parking lot is heavily used as a Potomac River access point by commercial raft companies and other groups, in addition to the general public. Weekend use of the area results in frequent vehicle congestion. Additionally, the parking lot is located on a sharp, uphill turn.
To help alleviate the problems resulting from this situation and to help correct the existing safety deficiencies, the following reconfiguration work is proposed;
- Move existing gate to better provide access for emergency vehicles to access the towpath and river. Gate relocation will be within the modern fill of the access roadway and will not pose any impacts to cultural resources.
- Re-surface gravel lot with tar-n-chip gravel surface to allow demarcation of bus drop off area and vehicular parking. All work will be at existing grade.
- Add reflective traffic barrier between county maintained roadway and parking lot to prevent illegal left-hand turns.
- Add signage for enforcement.
- Extend guardrail to address gaps. Additional posts will be within the limits of disturbance of the existing roadway and parking lot areas.
- Prohibit left hand turns into the parking area and designate one way traffic flow through the parking area.
The park's Interdisciplinary Team reviewed the project for impacts to natural and cultural resources. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to the environmental, historical, cultural, archeological, or visual resources. It meets categorical exclusion #C.9 – Repair, resurfacing, striping, installation of traffic control devices, repair/replacement of guardrails, culverts, signs and other minor existing features on existing roads when no potential for environmental impact exists.
For further information about this project, please contact Park Engineer, at 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740.