Heads up for the Rideau 2024 season

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Cartouche

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
Messages
493
Location
Canada
Vessel Name
On The EdJ
Vessel Make
Former 390 owner now Sundancer 380
Just a heads up for those that might be planning a Trip up the Rideau from Kingston, if you have a fly bridge you will not be able to pass through the Lasalle Causeway, It is being rebuilt and 2 weeks ago there was an incident that has severely compromised the structure, as it was originally built in the late 1800's the repair work is going to be lengthy, and time consuming, they have already declared it will not open until June, and I am sure that will be pushed back as we get closer. We now have a Sundancer and can get under the Fixed portion, but our old boat a Mainship 390, would be Stuck, there are 3 Tour boats (Bateau Mouche, Island Belle, and the Canadian Empress) that winter at our Marina (Kingston Marina in the inner harbor), and also cannot leave. The Island Queen stayed at the Crawford dock for the winter so will be okay, Either plan to go to Ottawa via Montreal or Check, to see if it opens when you want to come. Parks Canada are still planning on opening the Rideau on the long weekend, but it will be Just Bungalows like us that are able to use it, if anyone needs info, you can reach out to me I am a Port Captain for KINGSTON.
 
Do you know what the available vertical clearance is with the bridge in its current state?
 
The Causeway is Closed - the fixed bridge is to the east of the causeway, and at high water has clearance of about 11ft, we are a Sundancer 38 and Fit with about 1ft above our Radar on the hardtop, if you have a flybridge it will not pass.
 
Just an update it looks like they are going to dismantle the fixed bridge and let out the commercial traffic and then close it back up, as of today the engineers are still assessing the damage and no forward work has started, which if all went well will be unlikely to open before mid summer if at all. I am sure it is going to have a major impact on the area as far as Tourism ease of getting around the city.
 
Just an update it looks like they are going to dismantle the fixed bridge and let out the commercial traffic and then close it back up, as of today the engineers are still assessing the damage and no forward work has started, which if all went well will be unlikely to open before mid summer if at all. I am sure it is going to have a major impact on the area as far as Tourism ease of getting around the city.
Thanks,
It boggles my mind as to why they would close it back up immediately after the tour boats escape, leave it open until the lift if fixed.
 
The chart shows clearnance on the fixed bridge as 5.5m, or 18'. The current Ontario water level is 31" above datum, which would indicate clearance at a bit over 15'. Is this accurate? We have been planning a trip on the canal which would require us to go through Kingston so we would be unable to go if the clearance is less than 14'.
 
The chart shows clearnance on the fixed bridge as 5.5m, or 18'. The current Ontario water level is 31" above datum, which would indicate clearance at a bit over 15'. Is this accurate? We have been planning a trip on the canal which would require us to go through Kingston so we would be unable to go if the clearance is less than 14'.
I've seen that on charts as well, but that's likely at Lake Ontario low water datum, which would be 243.3 feet. Currently the lake is just below 246'. So clearance would be a little over 15 feet. I've seen it mentioned that the small boat passage is typically usable for boats up to 14 feet tall. So if you can get down to 14 feet you should clear.
 
In 2022, due to a rush our restriction or something like it, I went under the fixed bridge on the Causeway. My recollection was that I had more than 15' and over 6' of depth. I remember catching the bridge opening going the other way.

Ted
 
Thanks,
It boggles my mind as to why they would close it back up immediately after the tour boats escape, leave it open until the lift if fixed.
Perhaps they need truck/crane access to that side of the bridge for repairs. 'can't do that with that bridge removed.
 
Thanks,
It boggles my mind as to why they would close it back up immediately after the tour boats escape, leave it open until the lift if fixed.
They want the roadway functional as soon as the Bridge is fixed as it is a busy route in the summer for tourists to Kingston, and only having 1 opening for traffic going North and south is a recipe for an accident.
 
The chart shows clearnance on the fixed bridge as 5.5m, or 18'. The current Ontario water level is 31" above datum, which would indicate clearance at a bit over 15'. Is this accurate? We have been planning a trip on the canal which would require us to go through Kingston so we would be unable to go if the clearance is less than 14'.
I would say 14ft we have a couple of fly bridge cruisers in our Marina and it's a no go
 
An update -as of today May 28th 2024 the Lasalle Causeway Bridge has been condemned and did not pass the Laser measure that concluded that the entire pivot structure is out of alignment, and the Bridge is to be replaced (3-5year plan), and the old bridge removed, the Federal Government will be issuing Tenders for both the removal and rebuild of a temporary non Movable structure and plan for a Complete replacement to allow for the resumption of Marine traffic. The Low water level this year has proved to be helpful for cruisers to accesses the Rideau Canal, I Must emphasize that I am not suggesting or recommending anyone go under the fixed bridge without performing their own due diligence, but I am happy to report that most boats have been able to pass under the fixed bridge, "AS LONG AS THEY HAVE NO CANVAS OR FRAME UP ON THE FLYBRIDGE AND A FOLDING MAST FOR ANY VESSEL WITH A FLYBRIDGE" I am not going to share the actual height we encountered on the weekend as the lake levels rise and fall daily (Today we had 35mm of water, next week we could have none), i AM NOT SURE THAT EVEN THE COAST GUARD WILL ACCEPT The RISK OF ADVISING as TO BRIDGE Hight.
 
Thanks for the update.
I can't believe that they will leave it closed to marine traffic for 2-3 years. That is beyond comprehension.
 
We had the fourth crossing built about a mile up river that took 4 years from final planning to build finish, I think there will be allot of discussion as to fixed or lifting, I personally think it has to be lifting, as we have very large vessels coming into the dry dock. I also believe that the first priority will be to have some kind of temporary fixed span so the City can get back to the tourism and basic functionality of the city. The East side of Kingston for years was depressed in the value of homes and amenities, and when the fourth crossing opened the year before last, there was huge improvements in convenience for the East and Property values and quality of life drastically improved. This Boon Doggle has put that progress back 10years, and just an FYI FOR THOSE THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN TO KINGSTON IT IS VERY WINDY, AND THE PREVAILING WIND PUSHES YOU COMING FROM THE SOUTH INTO THE BRIDGE AND RMC MY RECOMENDATION WOULD BE MAKE SURE YOUR MAST IS HINGED DOWN AND ALL CANVAS AND FRAMES ARE REMOVED - WELL BEFORE TRYING TO GO UNDER THE FIXED BRIDGE, TRYING TO DO IT AT THE BRIDGE WILL BE VERY HARD AS YOU WILL BE IN CLOSE QUATERS. Confederation Basin is just before the fixed bridge and there is plenty of room to go in the basin where the water is calm (Not the wind) and drop anchor to prepare, (You might get yelled at but I don't think anyone other than the federal government owns the bottom.)
 
So your opinion is that they'll do nothing now with the bridge . It will stay like this until they tender out a new build In 18months?
 
It is my understanding a statement will be issued today confirming the demolition, and the calling for an RFP to remove the existing structure (allowing all vessels trapped in Kingston Marina to escape) and then build a temporary fixed structure to allow traffic to flow again from west to east in the City. ( I think this will happen fairly fast) Then the process for a permanent replacement will begin.
 
Interesting, so it sounds like there might be window to get in and out of the Rideau. Depending on how they build the temp will determine the length of the window. The million dollar question is how many days will be burned with an RFP for removal.
 
It is my understanding that only the Commercial and Personal boats trapped in the inner Harbour will be allowed to pass, and then the Bailey Bridge will be constructed. So if you arrived on the day they removed the bridge you might be able to sneak in but alas you will not be able to get back out without going up through Ottawa and down to Montreal.
 
Interesting, so it sounds like there might be window to get in and out of the Rideau. Depending on how they build the temp will determine the length of the window. The million dollar question is how many days will be burned with an RFP for removal.
The Feds are saying 11 weeks for RFP and award then work to start on removal
 
The summer is toast for everyone inside or wanting to get inside. 11 weeks is labour day.
 
I would say it is toast for 3-5 years, at least all boats that are waiting to get out will be able to now pass as early as next week for a 1 or 2 day window when the span is removed. I think it is going to be very busy with sold boats coming down the rideau this week to be able to escape to their new owners home ports, quite a mess
 
Ahh so they're removing it next week, I misunderstood, I thought they were tendering the removal in 11 weeks.
 
...I am not going to share the actual height we encountered on the weekend as the lake levels rise and fall daily...

I think your observations would be useful, even with the caveat of changing water levels, which don't change rapidly on the Great Lakes. I see a .06 ft range in reported water levels over the past 7 days on Lake Ontario.

I went through the fixed bridge last week. My air draft is about 12 ft, and by eyeball we had at least three ft of clearance. I planned to stop and get an accurate measurement, but couldn't dawdle under the bridge with the following breeze and waves.
 
Not sure I want the liability of saying X today and the dam at Cornwall decides to raise the lake levels. Every one can find out approximate height off a chart and search Chart Datum water levels and make their own conclusions based on their research.
 
They do indeed start this week but the tour boats won't get out for 2 weeks then it will be 3-5years before anyone over 14ft can pass
 
Truly hard to believe even the CDN gov't could take that long , but they probably will.
Any business inside will be destroyed.
 
Any updates?
Have they actually started removal?
 
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