Monday, June 24, 2024

Boating season begins on the Rideau Canal

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The 192nd season of boating on the Rideau Canal kicks off today, but the southern entry point to the national historic site remains closed due to damage to the LaSalle Causeway in Kingston, Ont.

The 202-kilometre historic waterway runs from Ottawa to Kingston and the St. Lawrence, with 29 individual locks and facilities.

Parks Canada says the locks connect more than one million visitors a year along the Rideau Canal.

The Rideau Canal lockstations will be open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until June 20. From June 21 to Sept. 2, the lockstations will be open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday to Sunday (and holidays) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

LaSalle Causeway

While the boating season begins on the Rideau Canal, boat traffic is halted at the LaSalle Causeway following damage to the federally-owned bridge.

Public Services and Procurement Canada says a diagonal steel truss element supporting the counterweight of the bridge was damaged during construction at the end of March. The bridge is closed to all vehicle and marine traffic, while pedestrians can access the bridge.

Repairs are expected to take seven to nine weeks to complete.

Cruise ship companies who operate in the area have said the closure of the bridge has delayed their ability to launch ships that were on the wrong side of the bridge. The operators had proposed a plan that would involve a one-time temporary removal of a concrete section of the bridge to allow the ships to pass through.

The federal government said earlier this month it is looking at two options to get ships moving while the bridge undergoes repairs: removing the span of the East Bridge or removing the Bascule Bridge.

The causeway is part of Highway 2 and has been open since 1917. It consists of three bridges and two wharfs, connecting Kingston to Pittsburgh Township near the mouth of the Catarqui River.

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Ted Raymond

The federal government says repairs on the LaSalle Causeway in Kingston, Ont. could take 8 to 10 weeks to complete. (Jack Richardson/CTV News Ottawa)

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