Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion dollars over five 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.
In the Merrickville-Wolford area, Parks Canada has completed work on a number of projects since the renovation project began in 2015.
The Merrickville Swing Bridge Rehabilitation, which included the repainting and repaving of the bridge, was completed in spring 2015. Old Slys Weir has undergone a rehabilitation improving its water management capacity and public safety. Concrete repairs were completed and new hydraulic elements added to improve the functionality of the dam’s stop log lifter. This project was substantively completed in Spring 2016.
The Upper Nicholsons Earth Dam Rehabilitation required the stabilization of the west embankment upstream of the spillway, masonry repair to the retaining wall, as well as excavation and backfilling along the retaining wall leading to the lock. This major work was completed earlier this year, along with the rehabilitation of the Edmonds Lock 25, Dam and Weir Rehabilitation. This was just Phase One of this scheme, and involved heritage stone masonry work on the lock and overflow dam, repair to the earth dam, and improvements to the roadway access to the dam from County Road 43.
There is still a great deal of work to be undertaken in the Merrickville-Wolford area. Many are in the initiation phase and will be scheduled once a design has been completed. Phase 2 of the Edmonds Lock 25 Rehabilitation will involve more masonry repairs including repointing, conservation-minded stone replacement and grouting. Public safety enhancements, such as new fencing and updated signage will also be completed. Work is expected to begin in the Fall of this year.
Another undertaking will require the demolition and reconstruction of the timber cribbing and concrete decks of the wharf at Nicholsons Lock, and the stabilization of the Merrickville Depot Building. This latter job will not begin until there is further investigation of the site in order to define the scope of this project. There will be masonry repairs undertaken at Old Slys Lock 26 and 27. This project will involve masonry repairs to ensure the continued safe passage of vessels along the canal. Work will include stone replacement, stone repair, repointing and grouting and will increase the longevity of this historic masonry.
In addition to the work currently underway at the Burritt’s Rapids swing bridge, Parks Canada is planning a rehabilitation project for the Burritts Rapids Earth Dam, which serves as a water control structure. This project will include assessment of the earth dams located at the site and their rehabilitation.
For those interested in finding out more about these projects, or to keep updated on progress, Parks Canada has been compiling a community engagement list of residents and stakeholders interested in receiving updates. Updates on key milestones will be provided via email. To be added to a community engagement list, Parks Canada encourages people to send them an email at [email protected] and include the specific project name in the subject line. Additionally, updates about Parks Canada infrastructure projects along the Rideau Canal National Historic Site can be found on our website at pc.gc.ca/RCinfrastructure.