Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Poonamalie Locks

I remember watching a diver check out the foundations of the Bala Falls train bridge. He said it didn't look good. It was quite a process!

Southeastern Ontario has the Rideau Canal, which was originally developed to help carry troops during the war of 1812. They've kept it up, and many use it for boating. It's big business, essentially to draw in tourist dollars.

They are shut down for the season. Things look very different summer vs. winter!

They are pouring money into the canal:
Parks Canada spending $40M to shore up crumbling Rideau Canal. I documented the work!

Parks Canada has been funded to check out the Poonamalie Lock foundations. We took a drive. They have to empty the dam ('dewatering'), and inspect the footings. This is a precursor to the development of the design and the new construction work.

It's interesting, since they closed 10 parks and had huge funding cutbacks.

A Brief History of Poonamalie
The Poonamalie site’s original name was First Rapids, as it is the first lockstation encountered in the descent toward Ottawa on the Rideau system. Tradition has it that the name Poonamalie was derived from a town in India named Poovirundavalli where the British Army stationed a garrison in the early 19th century. An officer of the Royal Engineers felt the cedar-lined roads at First Rapids were reminiscent of those he had seen while serving in India. 
The channel in this section of the Rideau Canal is nearly 2.5km and bypasses the original rapids in the Rideau River. In addition to the lock, earth dam, and weir, a defensible lock master’s house can also be found at this site. This building was originally built in 1842 and remains in use to this day.
One of the men wandered back to the truck to fetch his hard hat, then began throwing the sand bags down to the diver. It gave me the creeps to even look over the edge!

It's dangerous business. There was a death, reported in the news in 2009. A supervisor for the company was fined, as well as the company, in 2011, for a violation of the Health and Safety Act.
The law(s) broken,
O.D.S. Marine was found guilty of violating section 54 (2) of the Ontario regulation 629, ‘Diving Operations’...

This was part of a recent rebuilding of Poonamalie, to shore up crumbling Rideau Canal, also on your tax dollars!


Cloudia said...

You show us interesting places, Jenn

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Interesting stuff~! I guess there's no real safe way to do this... draining the bath wouldn't quite work here! YAM xx (Back over in Edinburgh for a week - and before I left, we had our first fall of snow!)

Nancy J said...

Brave men, dangerous work, keep us up to date with the progress.

William Kendall said...

They did some restoration work between Bank Street and Bronson last winter on the Canal's north side. You do have to maintain it, after all.

Anvilcloud said...

Glad they are tending to this heritage site. Never been down that way.