Community Update: Update on Parks Canada Construction Projects

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Talbot Earth Dam Repairs

Where are the earth dams?

Earth dams often go unnoticed, but they are vital for flood mitigation and therefore the safety of visitors, residents, and property. In the area around the Talbot canal the earth dams look like steep banks or berms, and the ones that Parks Canada will repair start at the Talbot Dam on County Road 30, and run along both sides of the canal between Portage Lock 39 and Gamebridge Lock 41.

Why is work required on the earth dams?

Public safety is a priority for Parks Canada and the long term sustainability of the earth dams is an integral part of flood mitigation for our neighbouring communities. The biggest threat to earth dams is often vegetation. The roots of live and decaying vegetation like trees and shrubs loosen the soil and create seepage paths that can lead to internal erosion and vulnerabilities in earth dams. Furthermore, trees pose a risk for dam failure should they be uprooted in a storm or succumb to disease. Vegetation also inhibits the ability to inspect the dams to identify problems and to complete works to further strengthen these dams where it has been deemed necessary.

What work will be done and when?

Some work has already been completed. Work crews have been removing vegetation from along the dams over the last year, and engineers have completed investigations that will inform further work. In order to rehabilitate and strengthen these dams, further vegetation will be removed, washouts will be repaired, and dam heights will be increased. In many places, sheet pile will be driven into the earth dams to reduce the risk of long-terms seepage, and the existing erosion control along the sides of the navigation canal will be replaced. This work will take place in late August 2017 with restoration in spring / Summer 2018.

Concrete Rehabilitation

What work will be done and where?

The concrete walls of Locks 39 to 41 along the Talbot canal and their approach walls require repair. Testing of the concrete and the condition of the surrounding area was completed over the winter and work began with the refacing of the downstream approach walls at Portage Lock 39. Work will resume again once the navigation season is over in October 2017.

Talbot Dam Rehabilitation or Replacement

What work will be done and when will it begin?

Parks Canada with support from Public Services and Procurement Canada, and informed by extensive investigations over the winter months, have determined that this dam will be replaced as opposed to repaired. This work will require a cofferdam above and below the dam to keep the work area dry. Significant investigative work has been done to ensure that risks to the sensitive fish spawning area below the dam are reduced. Work may begin to install cofferdams for this work before mid-October of this year.

Boundary Road Swing Bridge #44 Rehabilitation

Status update

A consultant has completed a comprehensive investigation which included preliminary options to identify rehabilitation requirements for the bridge. A construction tender for the bridge is tentatively scheduled for spring 2018, with on-site construction potentially starting at the completion of the navigation season of 2018.

How to stay informed

For information about this or other infrastructure projects in your area, please visit or For questions or concerns, or to receive email updates regarding this project, please contact us at and include the location that interests you in the subject heading.
Or, stay up-to-date on construction projects, boating activities and events, and general canal-i-pedia by following our social media channels: Twitter @trentsevernnhs or Facebook/trentsevernnh

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