In the foreground is the Catoctin Aqueduct, one of 11 aqueducts built for the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Constructed between April 1832 and February 1834, by the contractors Tracy and Douglas for a total cost of $33,325.92. It was nicknamed the 'Crooked Aqueduct' because of the sharp turns in the adjacent canal path. Boatmen accidentally damaged the side of the aqueduct so repeatedly that it suffered from serious leaking after 1859.
The design of the aqueduct incorporates two different types of arches: a longer elliptical arch in the center and Roman arches on either side. The use of these different architectural elements may have put unequal stresses on the structure. The center arch began to collapse in 1926 (as seen in the photograph by Jack E. Boucher) and a large portion of the Catoctin Aqueduct collapsed in 1973. Between 2010 and 2011 the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park contracted Corman Construction of Annapolis Junction, MD to restore the aqueduct to its original state while adding a modern interior supporting frame of concrete, fiber, and steel.
In the background can be seen the stone arch bridge constructed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad circa 1834. During its construction, the railroad was in direct competition with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and fought over land access around Catoctin Creek. In the spring of 1833, a compromise agreement was made to share the crossing point. Originally 166 feet in length, the ends of the railway bridge were extended with concrete in 1902 to a total length of 208 feet. The railroad bridge is still in use today, run by CSX Railroad.