Preliminary work on the replacement of the Talbot dam near Gamebridge is planned for this fall.
A recent community update from Parks Canada outlines the project, which will require the construction of cofferdams above and below the Talbot dam to keep the work area dry.
“In the upcoming weeks, work will begin to build the cofferdam directly below the dam,” the notice reads.
“The work will continue over the weekends until Oct. 30 and residents can expect construction noise as sheet piling is installed.”
County Road 50 below the dam will remain open through construction, though there may be brief temporary closures or lane reductions.
The update notes that the Talbot dam was initially earmarked for repairs but is now being replaced following “extensive investigations” in 2016.
“Significant investigative work has been done to ensure that risks to the sensitive fish spawning area below the dam are reduced,” it reads.
The five locks and three dams in the Talbot area overcomes a 75-foot difference in water elevation between Canal Lake and Lake Simcoe. It officially opened in 1907.
Other work in the area includes ongoing repairs and maintenance of the earth dams in the Talbot area.
“Over the last year, work crews have been removing the vegetation that undermines earth dam stability and engineers have completed investigations that will inform further work to rehabilitate and strengthen the dams,” the notice from Parks Canada reads.
“Soon, 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-term seepage and the existing erosion control along the sides of the navigation canal will be replaced.”
The concrete walls of Locks 39 to 41 along the Trent canal and some approach walls also require repairs.
“Testing of the concrete and the condition of the surrounding area was completed over the winter and work began with the re-facing of the downstream approach walls at Portage Lock 39. Work will resume again once the navigation season is over in October 2017.”