Historic Rideau Canal structures to be refurbished
The Government of Canada has announced it will spend an additional $57 million on rehabilitating and repairing structures along the Rideau Canal.
Announced by Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on May 10, the funding will be used to repair bridges and dams, as well as locks and masonry structures along the 200-kilometre historic canal.
Opened in 1832, the canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built under the supervision of Colonel By of the Royal Engineers and by thousands of Irish and French-Canadian labourers and takes in sections of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers, as well as several lakes. Meant originally for military purposes to provide a secure route between Upper and Lower Canada in the event of an American invasion, it became a popular commercial route.
Today it is operated by Parks Canada and is used by over 50,000 recreational boats each year, as well as 80,000 cyclists per month along its paths.
The government provided a list of projects that will be included in the $57-million rehabilitation program. Several are to repair the canal’s walls and wharves, but there is also $1.3 million to rehabilitate the oldest bridge along the canal, the Burritts Rapids Swing Bridge, where repairs are needed to the steel structure, its timber bridge deck, and its pivot pier. The largest sum goes to the rehabilitation of the Jones Falls Locks and Arch Dam, where $10.5 million will be spent on work that includes replacing the stone and repairing the stone arch dam toe drain system.
To read the announcement and see the full list of works, click here.