The St. Lawrence Seaway
is officially closed to navigation until spring. The last vessel to pass through the Seaway was the chemical tanker Petrolia Desgagnes, which made its way through the St. Lambert lock near Montreal, Quebec, on Dec. 25. The seaway, which was open to navigation for 270 days starting March 31, maintained its maximum draft of 26 ft., 3 in. despite the low water levels in the Great Lakes. The Seaway's toll revenue and cargo tonnage was down this year because of reduced demand for inbound foreign steel, according to Seaway officials. Estimated combined cargo moved through the Welland Canal
, between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and the Montreal/Lake Ontario sections
, totaled 47.56 million tons, down seven percent from a year ago. Slabs and steel products fell 33 percent because of a surplus of imported steel available. Other commodities such as iron ore, coal and other bulks were down by about six percent.