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Ogeechee River

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The Savannah and Ogeechee Canal is significant in engineering and transportation as a relatively intact example of an early 19th-century barge canal, the first of only three such canals in Georgia. Its design and construction clearly represent early 19th-century civil engineering principles and practices as well as construction techniques. It is a 16.5-mile barge canal constructed between the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers in 1826-1830. The canal extends from the Savannah River just west of the downtown waterfront, under the Talmadge bridge, to the Ogeechee River approximately 2.5 miles upstream of the I-95 crossing. The eastern half of the canal runs north of and roughly parallel to I-16; the western half runs in a southwest-northwest direction from just west of the I-16/I-95 interchange to the Ogeechee River. When completed, the earthen canal was 48 feet wide at its top, 33 feet wide at its base, and five feet deep. After improvements in the 1840s, it featured six locks, each approximately 18 feet by 100 feet, with brick walls, wooden bottoms, and wooden gates, and five lockkeeper's houses. Today, long portions of the canal are intact; portions have been altered or overgrown, and a few stretches have been obliterated or blocked. The nomination of the Savannah and Ogeechee Canal to the National Register of Historic Places was sponsored by the Savannah and Ogeechee Canal Society, whose goal is to interpret and restore at least portions of the canal, with the support of the City of Savannah, the owner. The National Register is the federal government's official list of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation.