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Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Thunder Bay celebrated the official grand opening of the newly rehabilitated Boulevard Lake Dam recently, calling the project a significant milestone.
“It provides a significant recreational feature for citizens and now allows for a much safer, accessible pedestrian crossing,” said Councillor Andrew Foulds.
Work included extensive concrete repairs, new mechanical gates that allow for safer and more refined dam operations, new post-tension tendons for structural stability, a new widened walkway, new lighting, and a new public viewing area with seating and pergola constructed with materials salvaged from the original dam.
Planning started more than 13 years ago, with the original scope for a walkway widening starting in 2008. Reconstruction of the dam began in June 2020 and was completed at the end of October.
“We would like to thank Thunder Bay residents for their patience and understanding during the project,” said Mike Vogrig, project engineer. “We hope that residents will enjoy this newly redesigned landmark for years to come.”
The dam reconstruction was needed to repair and improve the structure that had deteriorated over time and to meet the regulatory requirements in the ministry of northern development, mines, natural resources and forestry’s Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act. The rehabilitated dam is designed to withstand the regional design storm and provide stormwater protection for downstream properties.
“The City of Thunder Bay’s investment in the project includes more than $5 million,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “Investing in municipal infrastructure helps build stronger communities, creates jobs, and makes life better for the citizens of Thunder Bay.”
Rehabilitation of the Boulevard Lake Dam is part of a $33 million community flood mitigation project. Approximately 40 per cent is being funded by Infrastructure Canada’s disaster mitigation and adaptation fund.
“The Boulevard Lake Dam has been a part of Thunder Bay’s community infrastructure for a century – the $13.2 million in federal funding will help improve floodwater and sewage management, promising a safer, healthier city for all of us,” said Patty Hajdu, minister responsible for the federal economic development agency for Northern Ontario.