USACE Plans to Reopen Dismal Swamp Canal This Summer

Officials at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Norfolk District 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, USACE said.

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 that the canal work at the Feeder Ditch will 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.

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