THORNE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2012) - Jay Aspin, Member of Parliament for Nipissing-Timiskaming, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced a major Harper Government investment in the replacement of the Ontario section of the Timiskaming Dam Complex, as well as the award of a $1.9-million engineering design contract to Hatch Limited of Niagara Falls, Ontario.
"Our Government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Ambrose. "Through this investment, we are achieving that and ensuring that our infrastructure remains safe and reliable for Canadians."
As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Harper Government announced new investments of approximately $250 million, over the next five years, in Public Works and Government Services Canada-owned infrastructure projects across the country, for a total of $320 million in funding for these assets.
"Our Government's investment in the Timiskaming Dam Complex will create local jobs and generate long-term economic benefits for the entire region," said MP Aspin. "Maintaining local public infrastructure is important to all of us, as it contributes to a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and a safer community."
The Ontario section of the dam was built between 1909 and 1913 and is one of two dams in the Timiskaming Dam Complex. This complex serves an integral function by maintaining water levels and preventing flooding in Lake Timiskaming upstream and the Ottawa River downstream. The roadway across the top of the dams is a key transportation link between Ontario and Quebec.
The design work was posted on MERX, as Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is committed to a fair, open and transparent tendering process. The design work is expected to be completed in 2014, when PWGSC will proceed with a Request for Proposals for the dam replacement work. Construction is expected to start in 2014 and be completed in early 2016.
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TIMISKAMING DAM COMPLEX - ONTARIO DAM REPLACEMENT
The Timiskaming Dam Complex is located approximately 65 kilometres northeast of North Bay, Ontario, on the border of Quebec and Ontario. It includes two structurally independent dams, the Ontario dam and the Québec dam, which are located on opposite sides of Long Sault Island in the Ottawa River. Long Sault Island and the Ontario dam are located in Ontario while the Quebec dam is primarily located in Quebec, with a portion in Ontario.
A roadway extends over the top of the dams and across the island and connects Highway 63, which originates in North Bay, Ontario, with Highway 101, which extends north to Macamic, Quebec. The roadway has one lane in each direction and includes an adjacent pedestrian pathway.
The dams were built between 1909 and 1913 by the Government of Canada in order to control the water level in Lake Timiskaming upstream and the flow of the Ottawa River downstream. Both dams are constructed of concrete structures that control the water flow by means of sluices. The dams control the last major reservoir on the Ottawa River upstream from the St. Lawrence River at Montréal.
The Timiskaming Dam Complex is an important part of the local and regional infrastructure as it performs numerous functions, the most important being water level control and water storage for hydroelectric generation downstream. It also provides an important interprovincial transportation link and accommodates a natural gas pipeline.
Engineering studies have found that the Ontario dam is now at the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced. The new Ontario dam will involve a realignment. This will allow traffic to continue to use the existing roadway until the new dam is complete.
During construction and future operation of the dam complex, PWGSC will continue to work with the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board to ensure the integrated management of the Ottawa River's principal reservoirs.