St. Lawrence Seaway System to Open 22 March

press release
Friday, February 17, 2012

SEAWAY NOTICE NO. 1 ‐ 2012: Opening of the 2012 Navigation Season and Maximum Allowable Drafts.

The opening of the 2012 navigation season is scheduled to take place on the following dates
and times:

  • Montreal / Lake Ontario March 22, 2012 ‐ 0800 hours (D.S.T.)
  • Welland Canal March 22, 2012 ‐ 0800 hours (D.S.T.)

Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Restrictions may apply in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed.

Sault Ste. Marie Locks and Canals
United States Soo Locks will open March 25.

Allowable Draft
In the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section, the draft will be 80.0 dm (26' 3") until the South Shore Canal is ice‐free or April 15th, whichever occurs first, at which time, if water levels are favorable, the 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''). 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.

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