Community Update: Phase One Concrete Repairs Underway

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Work at Hogs Back Dam and Fixed Bridge

February 11, 2019 – The contractor has now begun phase one concrete rehabilitation under the bridge at Hogs Back Dam and Fixed Bridge. This work will pause in May 2019 for navigation season and will resume in fall 2019, with completion of this phase of work expected in spring 2020.

Phase One

Presently, the contractor is removing and repairing concrete on the piers, east abutments and apron of the dam and bridge. Concurrently, the contractor is installing shoring to prepare for the widening of the east bridge abutment and for the reconstruction of the east upstream retaining wall. 

In late fall 2019, the second half of phase one work will begin. Work will include concrete repairs to the west abutment and its pedestrian tunnel. The most westerly pier will be repaired and lengthened and the west upstream retaining wall will be reconstructed. During construction, the pedestrian tunnel under the west abutment will be closed. Details on this closure will be communicated as we near this portion of work. This phase of work is expected to be completed in spring 2020.

Phase Two

The second and final phase of work at Hogs Back Dam and Fixed Bridge is scheduled to begin in spring 2020. This phase will include the replacement of the fixed bridge deck. In order to complete this work, Hogs Back Road will be closed at the bridge. Closure and detour plans will be provided to the public once they are confirmed. This full project is expected to be completed in 2021.

This project is 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 Hogs Back Dam and Fixed Bridge 

Hogs Back Dam built circa 1935
Construction of the first dam at Hogs Back began in the late 1820s. Throughout its construction, the dam was compromised by unexpected high waters and winter frost impacting its foundation. This resulted in its collapse on three separate occasions. Colonel By’s team eventually installed timber cribwork and added a waste weir to allow excess water to bypass the main dam during high flows. This dam was completed in 1830. It sustained significant damage throughout the mid-to-late 1800s and was reconstructed in the early 1890s. In 1935, yet another version of the dam was built along with a concrete bridge. Those were replaced in 1977 by the dam and fixed bridge that can be seen on site today. 

Hogs Back Dam is the currently the second highest dam on the Rideau Canal system, following the dam located at Jones Falls.

For More Information:

For up-to-date news about Parks Canada infrastructure work in this area, please visit If you have any questions about any of the project, or if you would like to receive email updates, please email us at: and include “Hogs Back” in the subject heading. 

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