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Author Topic: Opening of the Saint-Laurent seeway  (Read 9653 times)
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Marcel Giroux
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« on: March 08, 2013, 04:35:11 pm »

The Saint-Laurent seeway is schedulled to open on march 22
Deicing operation of the south shore channel are now underway by the SIPU MUIN.
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Jean Hemond
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 03:14:56 am »

To add to this subject and the previous one; about Russia engagements  in navigating the Arctic. Here:http://maritime-connector.com/news/general/russia-draws-up-business-plan-to-revive-the-northern-sea-route/
It seem that Canada and USA are acting  rather backwards  in not gearing for opening the St-Lawrence Seaway to year-around navigation. That  to keep the the business going. And cut the ever increasing extreme costs of highways repairs and upgrades. And to stop with the destructive truck loads creeping. Trucking beeing responsible to 85 to 90% of infrastructure degradation. And social costs from all angles would  be reduced( pollution, traffic jams, fuel... I know it was considered some 25 years ago or about but I never heard about the report.
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Marcel Giroux
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 06:06:26 pm »

It seems to me that keeping the door locks in operation under freezing conditions is a very difficult task.
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Jean Hemond
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 08:23:10 pm »

Air bubbles to keep the water from freezing and heating the steel doors with wires and steam were in the project. Not a very complex technology for nowadays to my opinion. The jamming is more disorganization and cultural.
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Captain Ted
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 08:37:26 pm »

Jean
very easy
most probably politics involved
1000,s of jobs in the trucking business and related services at stake !!!
who cares then on the enviroment !!!!
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NOW!!!,,,if we could get rid of the sailors,,how safe shipping would be !!!!!!!!
Jean Hemond
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 12:43:05 am »

In this country it is the very same lobby at the top with strategies to keep the control over both to maximizing incomes not public expenses!
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Marcel Giroux
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 01:18:24 pm »

Heathing and air bubbles to prevent the water from freezing in a lock can be a very costly business. Formation of frazil also causes problems let alone the evacuation of flotting ice generated by the passage of vessels in wider channel.
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Jean Hemond
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 05:37:43 pm »

Apparently all this was looked at! Ice-flow control devices used  at spring time, are, I think, already largely in place in the seaway. Cost vs benefits,  direct indirect, and induced impacts on taxpayers might be updated and made public.
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Marc Piché
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 07:33:36 pm »

The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority needs the 3-month winter break for lock maintenance and repair. I was told this some years ago by a Seaway official.
At that time January & February were particularly freezing cold (not as much today) and there was no way the locks could be kept in operation. Ships would have needed icebreaker assistance throughout the system as there is very little current in the canals to keep the ice on the move.
This was proven in the 1970s and 1980s when ice started forming early in December and ships were caught in ice jams. I photographed many ships there during this period and it was quite hectic as light icebreakers and tugs worked frantically to free these vessels before the Seaway closed for the season at the end of December.
Some even had to spend the winter months in lake ports as they could not clear the system in time.
Nowadays with milder temps, maybe plans could be drawn up to allow the Seaway to remain in operation 12 months a year. For one thing, the opening of the Seaway in 2013 is about a week earlier than it was 10 years ago.
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Jean Hemond
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 10:40:30 pm »

Agreed Marc! It could be a gradual extension of the season. And a potential continuous upgrade of locks even doubling some.
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Magogman
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2013, 07:44:08 am »

Passing all the ice down the numerous locks of the Welland Canal might be problematic and certainly problematic would be clearing the ice in the numerous harbors of the Great Lakes, plus keeping the St Marys River, St Clair River, Lake St. Clair and Detroit River open.  Plus Lake Erie freezes over completely or almost completely almost every year as well as significant parts of the other lakes.  The Coast Guard keeps the Strait of Mackinac open currently but I doubt they have the ships to do much more than what they currently do.

Ice cover near the shorelines is good protection against shoreline erosion during winter storms and any open water dramatically increases evaporation at a time when some of the Great Lakes are at or near their historic lows.

Not sure how many of the Great Lakes bulkers can deal with significant ice and if the Seaway was open, the Lakes would probably be open and the Great Lakes bulkers would be running.

I don't see keeping the Seaway open during winter at federal expense at this time.

There is not enough money in the world to get me to sail the length of Lake Superior in the dead of winter.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 07:46:42 am by Magogman » Report to moderator   Logged

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Bruno Boissonneault
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 01:26:03 pm »

Maintenance period could be reduced down to 1.5 months according to some sources on the ground but it would be extremely difficult to lock through full 23m wide vessels due to ice buildup on the lock walls. FEDERAL RIDEAU actually jammed in a lock chamber while the water was being pumped-out a few years back, they had to put water back in in a hurry and she was still jammed! You could easily do it with 15-17 m beam ships like Wagenborg's vessel. That is something the Canadian companies, who are in fact the operators of the seaway from the government through the St-Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., will never allow since they do not have ships of that size.

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Jean Hemond
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 01:35:51 pm »

I agree with you Bruno! There are major technical problems with ice in the locks!
Engineering solutions are possible but likely their cost would be prohibitive taking into account the potential traffic direct incomes for operators alone.

But I also believe that a cost benefit study should contemplate the total  impact including of road infrastructures degradation for taxpayers! This gets further complex with various jurisdiction involved. Also shipping industry interest since  most of all Canadian ship operators are amongst  the majors in  Canadian trucking.  And thus they are the main beneficiaries of road infrastructures subsidization by taxpayers.  Less the case for the Seaway.
 That since heavy trucks are more or less responsible for 80 to 90% road degradation costs. To lengthen the season would have an immediate  impact for this situation occurs in thawing conditions.
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