Seaway reopens for 60th year

A ship enters the Iroquois Lock in South Dundas. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

IROQUOIS — Ships are back plying the waters of the Seaway, which opened its milestone 60th season today.

The debut of the 2018-19 navigation season follows a good business year on the waterway. Seaway tonnage rose nine percent to over 38 million tonnes — with much of that growth attributed to a rise in iron ore shipments — during the Seaway’s 59th navigation system.

2017-18 was a physically challenging year on the Seaway, however, with flows on the St. Lawrence River cranked up to the maximum allowable speed during a period of high precipitation and regional flooding last spring and summer. The final weeks of the season concluded amid difficult weather and ice conditions leading up to Jan. 11.

“Without a doubt, 2017 was a good business year, and we successfully wrapped up the season thanks to the skill and dedication of our employees. Collectively, we got the job done” said St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation CEO Terence Bowles at the time.

A “marine highway” extending 3,700 km from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, the Seaway carries approximately 160 million tonnes of cargo annually. The system supports over 227,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity.

Queen Elizabeth and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower officially opened the St. Lawrence Seaway on June 26, 1959. The Queen’s visit included a stop in the ‘new’ Iroquois in South Dundas, where she travelled over the street named Elizabeth Drive in her honour.

 

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