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Section of the Sault Canal drained for maintenance

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Inspection crews will be spending the next couple of weeks conducting a maintenance check on the bottom of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal. To accommodate the work, the lock will be "unwatered" to allow for a more thorough examination.

During the latest boating season, it was discovered that a pair of valves that allow water into the lock were not working properly. As the valves are underwater, the lock is being drained to allow crews to get a better look.

The last time this occurred was in 2010.

“We only unwater the lock, empty completely, drain it like a bathtub, when we know we have to do some maintenance or inspection on the lock itself,” said Carly Wetzl from the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site.

While the work is ongoing, access to some areas along the canal will be restricted. However, people will still be able to access the walking trails on Whitefish Island via the easternmost gate.

Officials with Parks Canada told CTV News that the project is not expected to negatively impact the 2024 boating season, with the usual planned opening of the canal happening in May of next year.

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