Iroquois Dam refurbishment

IROQUOIS – The first step of a multi-year plan to refurbish the Iroquois Control Dam on the St. Lawrence River is now underway.

Work began on the dam, which helps control water levels of the St. Lawrence River west towards Lake Ontario, on September 22.

Matthew Mulvihill with Ontario Power Generation, which owns the 65-year old dam, told The Leader that the work this year will focus between Gates 15 and 20 on the dam.

“OPG is replacing sectional service gates on the Iroquois Control Dam. These sectional service gates are used to isolate the large control gates for maintenance,” Mulvihill explained. “The operation of the control gates over the next month is to facilitate the removal, installation and commissioning of the new gates.”

The work on the Iroquois Dam will not have a significant impact on water flow conditions on the Upper St. Lawrence River or Lake St. Lawrence. Mulvihill said the work will not affect usage of the gates for recreation watercraft use at the dam site.

“This is the first step of a multi-year investment to refurbish the dam, ensuring it will remain reliable for decades to come.”

The Iroquois Control Dam was constructed between 1954 and 1958 as part of the St. Lawrence Seaway project. It is the only control dam to regulate water levels west of Iroquois to Lake Ontario. The control gates are primarily used to hold back water off the Great Lakes during winter ice building and managing spring runoff in the Great Lakes system.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader