Keeping the canal gates swinging
Q: What’s going on at Welland Canal Lock 3 behind the St. Catharines Museum? Looks like they put in a bridge.
A: The Welland Canal remains a hub of activity now that the shipping season is over.
At Lock 3 in St. Catharines, contractor E.S. Fox is working on the rehabilitation of the east and west lower end gates of the lock.
The temporary bridge was installed to allow workers and light materials to be transported easily and safely from one side to the other, explained Alvina Ghirardi, manager of regional services for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.
The project is running 24-7 over the winter.
Ghirardi said this type of work, which involves rehabilitating the lock gate hinges, ensures that the gates, or doors, continue to swing open and close effortlessly while maintaining a very tight seal.
It’s the first time the seaway is doing the work on the tall gates, which are 82 feet high. In the past, it’s rehabilitated the shorter gates that are either 36 feet or 44 feet tall.
Ghirardi said the shorter gates need to be rehabilitated every 12 years while the taller gates can be done every 20 to 25 years.
“This work is considered part of our ongoing normal project maintenance work for each lock,” she said.
The same type of work was done at Locks 1 and 2 last winter.
Q: Regarding garbage pick up, what were the costs of this mishap (with workers being paid double or more time) and to the Region and taxpayers totally? It has to have been a load of money spent.
A: Any measures taken by Niagara Region’s contractor Emterra to catch up on its waste collection delays are out of the company’s pocket.
CatherineHabermebl,Niagara’sdirector of waste management services, said any overtime, rental of additional vehicles or subcontracting work is all at Emterra’s cost and there’s no cost to the Region.
The garbage, organics and recycling collection delays started the week between Christmas and New Year’s and affected every municipality in the region.
This week, the company was mostly caught up, with delays of up to one day in some areas. Emterra has said the delays were caused by a shortage of trucks and staff, as well as bonechilling temperatures.
On Friday afternoon, Habermebl said Emterra expected to have all materials collected on schedule by Friday evening.
“They are in good shape, but pending the weather and what transpires over the next couple of hours that could impact collection,” she said. Niagara was under a special weather statement Friday night for icy conditions and accumulating snow.
She said Emterra has crews out on Saturday collecting Christmas trees but they planned to bring in additional crews from other Emterra municipalities to assist with trash collection if they weren’t able to complete the job Friday night.
“If they cannot complete recycyling, organics and garbage today because of the weather, then they will have crews here tomorrow cleaning up that material,” Habermebl said Friday.
The Region updates its website about the garbage schedule daily and residents are advised to check it out at www.niagararegion.ca/waste.
Work crews put in place a temporary bridge over lock 3 of the Welland Canal Tuesday. With the shipping season over, repairs and construction will begin.
Emterra says it is working hard to get all of the garbage and recycling picked up from St. Catharines homes.