By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday April 19, 2012
Burlington lift bridge raised for Hamilton-bound ships
The Burlington Canal Lift Bridge has been raised to allow freighters to get in and out of Hamilton Harbour.
Department of Public Works spokesperson Jeremy Link said Wednesday the bridge – which was stuck partway up after a cable broke Tuesday morning – was inched upwards during overnight to open harbour access.
The bridge is still closed to road traffic.
Engineers are still assessing the problem and the repair and no date has been set for re-opening the bridge.
Ships were beginning to stack up outside Hamilton Harbour before the bridge was raised. Two arrived after the bridge stuck Tuesday morning and three more are expected Wednesday.
The Hamilton Street Railway has set up detour routes around the bridge for routes which use Beach Boulevard.
The two freighters — a tanker and a cargo ship — were anchored in Lake Ontario off Burlington’s waterfront and not far from the canal as engineers investigated the possibility of safely lifting the bridge completely so the ships can pass.
The movable bridge’s opening sections became stuck partway up at 25 metres at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday after a cable broke and stopped the bridge from opening further. Ships could not pass, nor could road and pedestrian traffic use the bridge.
The lift bridge yearly allows about 6,500 ships, including about 700 cargo carrying ships, to pass through the canal and into Hamilton Harbour. An average 10,000 vehicles pass over it each day according to 2009 statistics. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)