Protecting Peterborough: The Nassau Guard Gate

Nassau Guard Gate PEterborough
By Jordan Parker

The Nassau Guard Gate project, created to prevent flooding in the Peterborough, Ontario area, is moving along swiftly.

Construction began in February 2018 on the project, which would see the installation of gates on the Trent Severn Waterway, north of Nassau Mills Road, to allow the redirection of water to the Otanabee River, thus avoiding homes and businesses adjacent to the canal.

Parks Canada is heading up the project, which is expected to be finished by this summer.

“Parks Canada is investing … to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas across Canada,” Parks Canada spokesperson Natalie Austin said in an email.

“These investments represent the largest federal infrastructure plan in the history of Parks Canada.”

There has been more than $615-million worth of work across the Trent-Severn Waterway announced in the past few years, with the Nassau project as part of that.

“This project includes … the creation of an earthen berm closely following the contours of Nassau Mills Road. The Guard Gate is being installed to be used in the case of a major flooding event,” Austin said.

“While the gates would also be preventively closed in the winter time, a built-in bypass would enable some flow to maintain traditional water levels in the canal from Thompson’s Bay to the area north of Parkhill Road.”


Austin explained the minimal flow would protect wetlands and fish habitat, as well as fish spawning areas in Thompson’s Creek.

There are a number of different stakeholders working on the project, including contractor Tomlinson Group.

“As with all of our projects, the planning process included input from Parks Canada engineers, as well as our environmental, heritage, and operations teams. The Nassau Guard Gate project is being delivered using a construction management approach,” Austin said.

“The project is being overseen by project managers from Parks Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada, and managed by our construction manager with input from an engineering consultant firm. The contractor for the Nassau Guard Gate oversees their team of staff working onsite.”

Graham Holt, spokesperson within the federal public service and procurement department, described some of the more detailed construction portions of the project.

“Some of the significant pieces of equipment used on the project include a Manitowoc 80-ton Crawler Crane with a Down-the Hole hammer, 15, 40 ton trucks for transportation, a CAT 352F excavator, a CAT 335 excavator, a Bobcat skid steer, a telehandler with a 4,535 kg capacity, 9 cubic metre transit mixers, and more,” Holt said in an email. 

He added a 47sk Alliance concrete pump on-site has delivered about 1,200 cubic metres of concrete for the project.

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“All the equipment operates for approximately 10 hours a day and a minimum of 200 hours a month to keep things on schedule,” Holt said.

Austin added large-scale construction can come with hurdles.

“There’s a great deal of planning, risk management, and progress monitoring. This project has been no different and is progressing well toward completion,” she said.

“These historic investments into infrastructure will mitigate health and safety risks, halt the deterioration of nationally significant built heritage and stimulate the economy in communities across the country.”