US Army Corps of Engineers
North Atlantic Division

Corps announces timeline to reopen Dismal Swamp Canal

Norfolk District Public Affairs
Published May 17, 2017
CAMDEN COUNTY, N.C. -- The Dismal Swamp Canal offers boaters a tranquil and serene trip down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. On average, more than 700 boaters utilize the canal between the months of September and December.

CAMDEN COUNTY, N.C. -- The Dismal Swamp Canal offers boaters a tranquil and serene trip down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. On average, more than 700 boaters utilize the canal between the months of September and December.

NORFOLK, Va. -- Officials at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have announced a goal of opening the Dismal Swamp Canal to its full 6-foot depth late this summer. 

The canal, which was closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Matthew in October, has ongoing debris and tree removal, and investigations of shoaling at many locations in the canal. Shoaling in the canal has reduced the depth to as little as 1 foot in areas. 

Norfolk District engineers are using recent surveys of the canal to plot the 22 miles of the canal and the 3 miles of the Feeder Ditch to Lake Drummond.  The data will be used to check for additional shoals and other obstructions.    

Crews are currently dredging the canal at the Feeder Ditch using information from the canal survey. They will then perform additional dredging at Turners Cut, south of the South Mills Lock.   

The Norfolk District is also working with the Wilmington District to remove a small shoal in the Deep Creek Channel.  District engineers project the canal work at the Feeder Ditch work to take the longest; work there will be complete by late-June. 

After canal repairs are completed, District engineers will evaluate whether to open the canal at a restricted depth until the 6-foot depth is achieved.   

At Lake Drummond Reservation and the Feeder Ditch, crews have repaired damaged buildings. Additional work at Lake Drummond Reservation included repairs on the floating docks, roadway washout and the boat tram, which will be scheduled this winter. 

Work on the Deep Creek Locks gates, which was scheduled before the storm, is progressing. Work on replacing the water control valves and deteriorated steel is ongoing and will be completed within the next week.  Final work and painting will then be done and the gates will be placed back into the lock in June.