SLSMC announcing 2017 opening and maximum allowable drafts
The opening of the 2017 navigation season is scheduled to take place on the following dates and times:
- Welland Canal: 8 a.m. Monday, March 20 (D.S.T.)
- Montreal/Lake Ontario Section: 8 a.m. Monday, March 20 (D.S.T.)
Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Restrictions may apply in some areas until lighted navigation aids are installed.
Sault Ste. Marie Locks and Canals
Opening of the Sault Ste. Marie Locks (U.S.A.) is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 25. Please note the Notice to Navigation Interests released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for further information.
In the Montreal/Lake Ontario Section, the maximum allowable draft will be 80.0 dm (26′ 3″) until the South Shore Canal is ice-free or April 15, whichever occurs first, at which time, if water levels are favorable, the maximum draft will be increased to 80.8 dm (26′ 6″) for all vessels. In addition, there will be zero tolerance for ship’s draft in excess of 80.8 dm (26′ 6″).
Mariners are reminded that for ships loaded to a draft greater than 80.0 dm (26′ 3″), speeds will be monitored carefully between St. Lambert Lock and St. Nicolas Island.
In the Welland Canal, a maximum allowable draft of 80.8 dm (26′ 6″) will be in effect from the start of the navigation season for all vessels. In addition, there will be zero tolerance for vessel drafts in excess of 80.8 dm (26′ 6”).
Vessels equipped with an approved and operational draft information system will be permitted to transit at a draft of up to 7cm above the maximum allowable draft.
Please note that, for vessels loaded to a draft greater than 80.0 dm (26′ 3″), speeds will be monitored carefully between the upper entrance to Lock 7 and former Bridge 12 in order to reduce bank erosion in this area.