Jones Falls Lock Repairs

April 30, 2019 – Phase one of the rehabilitation of the Jones Falls Locks on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site is nearing completion. The contractor has begun demobilizing from site and will return in fall 2019 to begin Phase two. Work on the Jones Falls Timber Bridge will continue until its expected completion in July.

Jones Falls Lock 39-42 Rehabilitation

Jones Falls Timber Bridge construction

Repairs have been completed on portions of Lock 39 and Lock 40. While undertaking work on Lock 39, the team discovered a stone apron (wall) on the upstream side of the lock, as well as the original stone upper gate recess floor. These two items were preserved and protected.

In fall 2019, phase two construction will begin. Work will include repointing, grouting and stone work, inside Locks 40, 41 and 42. This phase will be completed in spring 2020 with substantial completion of the full project expected for spring 2021.

Jones Falls Timber Bridge Replacement

The old Jones Falls Timber Bridge has been removed (preserving the historic timber cribbing beneath the bridge) and steel piles installed to support the new bridge deck. While constructing the abutments, the team faced some challenges with the stone bedrock beneath the bridge. This impacted their approach to construction and lengthened construction time which will now be complete in July. The team is currently installing the bridge substructure, followed by the deck, which has been designed to match the aesthetic of the previous bridge preserving the historic landscape.

As the project is extending into the navigation season, the team will install floating docks anchored to the south side of Lock 42. Boaters will be able to access the lockstation from the floating docks.

These projects are part of Parks Canada’s unprecedented $3 billion dollar investment over 5 years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. These investments represent the largest federal infrastructure plan in the history of Parks Canada.

About Jones Falls

Work on Jones Falls began in 1827 and was completed in 1832. Given the rugged terrain, Jones Falls Lockstation demonstrates the impressive feats of the canal builders. In order to address the one mile long rapids with a fall of 60 feet, Colonel By proposed the construction of an arch dam 60 feet high and 350 feet in length. Four locks were constructed at the site, each with a lift of 15 feet. The upper lock and the flight of three lower locks are separated by a turning basin.

In part, because of the breathtaking views throughout the site, Jones Falls Lockstation is designated as a cultural landscape of National Historic Significance by Parks Canada.

For More Information:

For up-to-date news about Parks Canada infrastructure work in this area, please visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/RCInfrastructure. If you have any questions about these projects, or would like to receive email updates, please email us at: RideauCanal.info@pc.gc.ca and include “Jones Falls” in the subject heading.