Construction of new Scotts Mills Dam in Peterborough reaches ‘significant milestone’

All work below the waterline now complete, remaining work will generate higher levels of noise

A rendition of what the new Scotts Mills Dam at Lock 19 on the Trent-Severn Waterway in Peterborough will look like when completed. (Graphic: Parks Canada)
A rendition of what the new Scotts Mills Dam at Lock 19 on the Trent-Severn Waterway in Peterborough will look like when completed. (Graphic: Parks Canada)

Work to replace the Scotts Mills Dam at Lock 19 in Peterborough has reached a “significant milestone” according to Parks Canada, but area residents should be prepared for higher levels of noise for the rest of the summer and into the fall.

Parks Canada announced on Wednesday (August 3) that all work on the new dam below the waterline is now complete.

The remaining work includes the placement of decking and railings on the dam, log lifter rails on the remaining sluices, and wall work on the east bank of the river adjacent to the dam. Following removal of the cofferdams and trestle bridge, grading and landscaping of the east access, and construction laydown area will take place.

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The remaining construction activities will involve using a vibration attachment to remove steel piles from the existing cofferdam and bridge structure and are expected to continue for the next few months. The grading and landscaping will involve large equipment movement on the east bank.

“These activities will generate higher levels of noise than experienced in recent months,” Parks Canada states in a media release.

Activities that generate heavy noise are limited to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

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Construction at the dam, located south of Lansdowne Street where it crosses the Otonabee River, began in spring 2019. In February this year, Parks Canada estimated construction would be completed by the fall, but has not provided an updated timeline.

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 will allow 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.