Construction on the Scotts Mills Dam in Peterborough will not be completed this spring — despite Parks Canada adding an extra work shift for contractors last summer to keep the project on schedule.
In a media release on Friday afternoon (February 4), Parks Canada advises high water levels on the Trent-Severn Waterway last summer and fall led to multiple work stoppages for safety and to accommodate the movement of water through the system. The dam is located at Lock 19, south of Lansdowne Street where it crosses the Otonabee River.
“Although every effort was made by the contractor to accelerate work between and since the stoppages, schedule slippage was unavoidable,” the media release states. “The updated schedule indicates construction of the new dam will be completed by early fall 2022, with demobilization to occur in late fall and landscaping in spring 2023.”
Construction on the project began in spring 2019 and, for the first two years of the project, contractors were instructed to work from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., including on weekends, with a variety of noise levels allowed at different times.
To keep the project on track for completion in spring 2022, in July 2021 Parks Canada approved an additional work shift by contractors, resulting in longer hours for light construction noise.
To date, work completed on the project includes construction of all new dam piers and abutments, as well as three out of seven spillways. Construction of an additional spillway and the connection of the dam and the lock is underway.
“The construction of the remaining spillways and completion of the overdecking railings and lighting has been delayed until summer 2022,” Parks Canada states. “Once complete, the contractor will remove the cofferdams and access bridges, demobilize from site, and complete site restoration and landscape activities.”
There will be no impacts to navigation on the Trent-Severn Waterway during the 2022 season, according to Parks Canada.
During the continued construction period, there will be no change to work hours and permitted noise.
Activities generating light construction noise only will be allowed daily from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. These activities can include general carpentry (including the use of handsaws and hammering), general craning (including form work placement and fuelling), rebar placement, concrete finishing and parging, and general site cleaning, cleanup, and organization.
Activities generating heavy construction noise will be allowed Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. These activities can include installation of piles, use of machinery or vehicles equipped with backup alarms, demolition and excavation, use of air compressors, drilling and bush hammering, and loading, hauling, and placement of rip rap or concrete.
According to Parks Canada, once completed the new dam will respect the historic look of the site and will have a life expectancy of more than 80 years. It will optimize hydraulic capacity, increase the safety of water management operations, and be constructed in a way that allows improved access for maintenance activities.
In addition, the project will be the first step in creating a more public-friendly lock site. Once restored, the dam will include pedestrian access onto the dam itself.