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Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada

Questions & Answers

Q: What is being done to the dam located at Lock 37?
A: The dam located at Lock 37 is being replaced. The result will be a dam that complies with Parks Canada’s Dam Safety Program and will last for generations.

Q: Who will be doing the construction?
A: The construction contract has been awarded to Metric Contracting Services Inc. in the amount of $20.9M.

Q: How long will the work take?
A: On-site construction of the Bolsover Dam, including the installation and removal of a water diversion and cofferdam system will begin this winter and last for approximately two years. This is part of an ongoing asset monitoring and recapitalization program along the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Q: Will there be updates provided?
A: Parks Canada will communicate with residents and stakeholders to ensure that they are aware of project details and timelines. Up to date information will be available on our website when project details are available.

Q: Will access to the site be restricted? How?
A: Although boats will still be able to lock through this area, overnight mooring and land visits (picnics, fishing) will not be permitted during the construction. Parks Canada will communicate any disruptions in advance.

Q: Is the dam still safe?
A: Yes the dam is still safe. Investigation information was achieved by a geotechnical program and monitoring well system as part of the design process. As a result, a report identifying mitigation measures was completed to ensure the structural integrity is retained until construction begins. This includes regular visual inspections by staff to monitor the dam structure.

Q: Is there a risk of failure?
A: With any dam there is a remote risk of failure; public safety remains Parks Canada’s main priority. All reasonable measures will be implemented to ensure safety of Parks Canada dams are maintained before, during and after the dam at lock 37 project.

Q: Will blasting at the local gravel pits cause problems?
A: No, activities at the gravel pits do not post any threat to the dam at Lock 37 Bolsover.

Q: I'm a resident near the dam. Will I lose access to any of my property? If so will I be compensated?
A: Property owners with affected properties directly related to construction will be contacted by the Trent-Severn Waterway Realty department. Parks Canada’s mitigation efforts will minimise the negative impact on residential areas near the dam and fair compensation has been offered in places where this was not possible.

Q: What will be done to ensure water quality is maintained during the construction? Will my well be affected? Will the effects of the construction on the environment, fish etc be monitored?
A: An environmental monitoring program will be undertaken during and following the construction work at the dam. This will include water quality monitoring and fishery resource monitoring. We do not anticipate any adverse effects on individual wells.

Q: How will you divert the water that usually flows over the dam?
A: A water diversion system (essentially a dam in itself) is being constructed to manage the normal flow of water. This is being constructed on the south side of the lock station.

Q: I live upstream of the dam, will it be safe for my kids to go swimming during construction?
A: Property owners with affected properties directly related to construction will be contacted by the Trent-Severn Waterway Realty department as soon as possible. Most residents will not see a change in the use of the Trent-Severn Waterway for navigation or waterfront recreation.

Q: Will the site be monitored 24/7 for safety?
A: During construction the contractor will be required to install safety barriers and signs. There will also be a monitoring program required as part of the contract work. This will result in a properly contained and fenced off construction site for the duration of the project, ensuring public safety.

Q: Will the road be closed?
A: Canal Road and Talbot Road are closed to all but local traffic. The project will result in heavier construction traffic on Canal Road and Durham Regional Roads 48 and 50. The contractor has been in discussion with the Townships of Brock and Ramara, and the City of Kawartha Lakes with regard to alternate routing for emergency services, bussing, and with Canada Post mail distribution.

Q: Will my child's school bus be affected?
A: Alternative bussing arrangements have been made and those who are affected have been notified.

Q: When will the work be done? Will it start early or end late in the day?
A: The hours of work by the contractor and crew will comply with local municipal bylaws.

Q: Will there be a reduction in air quality or increase in noise in the area?
A: The dam at lock 37 site will be a construction site and there are inherent issues that go along with such sites, including typical construction noise and dust. The contractor will follow specified mitigation measures relating to noise and dust for the duration of the project.

Q: We’ve known the dam has needed repair for many years. Why did it take so long to get this project started?
A: Between 2004 and 2005 a series of assessments were conducted by Parks Canada in liaison with (PWGSC). Funding was initially provided through the 2005 budget and remained in reserve, committed to the project. Since that time Parks Canada has been working with (PWGSC) to refine and confirm technical specifications and estimates. Parks Canada secured final approval for the project from the Treasury Board at the end of 2011.

Due to the magnitude and cost of this project there has been a complex series of actions taken, including: an Environmental Assessment; a Cultural Resource Assessments; consultation with Natural Resources Canada has been consulted and property surveys made; Parks Canada has obtained permission under the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) to make changes to the navigable approach at Lock 37 Bolsover.

Timelines around this project are all part of a formal step-by-step process for establishing and awarding contracts of this nature.

Q: When was the Dam at lock 37 built?
A: The water control dam at Lock 37 (Bolsover) on the Talbot River section of the Trent-Severn Waterway was built in 1902-1903.

Q: Is there any guarantee that this project will reasonably stay on schedule?
A: The Dam at lock 37 project like all construction projects can end up dealing with unforeseen challenges. Barring unforeseen issues, all possible measures will be in place to ensure the project stays on schedule.

Q: How does investing millions in dam repairs support local communities along the canal?
A: Parks Canada remains committed to the recapitalization and maintenance of very complex historical and contemporary canals infrastructure, including dams, locks and bridges. The investments in asset maintenance and inspections are to ensure the safety of Canadians and our employees, and for the protection and conservation of our heritage resources.

Q: What exactly is Parks Canada’s role with regards to managing the canals in Canada?
A: Parks Canada manages $5.64B in waterways infrastructure in Ontario and Quebec on behalf of Canadians and in support of navigation and water management along the canals.