Wolfe Island dredging moving along nicely

Construction is moving along nicely on the Wolfe Island ferry dock scheme – one of the most extensive dredging projects in Canada since the St. Lawrence Seaway was established.

According to the officials, the dredging of the lake bottom was temporarily halted in mid-January due to ice accumulation. Now that the ice has melted, crews are once again dredging in the Barrett Bay.

Overall, the project includes excavation/dredging to deepen and widen the riverbed along the Wolfe Island ferry route between Kingston and Marysville. This will ensure that the existing and future ferry service has enough clearance for operation.

The work is being performed by Kehoe Marine Construction under contract to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). Project began in 2020 with the preparation, organization and dredging of the Kingston Shoal and 300 metres of Barrett Bay.

In 2021, the contractor began the next phase of dredging in the bay which is targeted for completion by winter 2022/23.

The Largest Dredging Project in Canada Since 1890

The Wolfe Island ferry dock project required the most extensive dredging, for a project in Canada, since the St. Lawrence Seaway was established. Due to the extent of dredging and increase in ferry dock size, the project had to be approved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) through the Fisheries Act Authorization process.

Morrison Hershfield’s team of biologists analyzed the project’s potential environmental impacts to the fish and fish habitat, defined the impacted area and determined options to offset the negative impacts that were identified.

Using the design drawings, they established a footprint of the new ferry docks and dredging on the lakebed, then used an analytical model (Habitat/Ecosystem Assessment Tool) to quantify the impacts to fish habitat based on the fish species present and surface area of different habitat types that will be affected by the project.

Photo: Morrison Hershfield