Sault Ste. Marie’s Aqueducts

In the past, various waterways ran through our City and into the St. Mary’s River.  As the City developed, these waterways presented two problems for the City.  The first was they became obstacles to travel.  The second issue was that periodically they would overflow their banks.  Rather than build a series of bridges throughout the City, which only addressed the travel aspect, our City officials in the past opted instead to enclose these waterways.

These enclosed waterways are the Aqueducts. They range in size but typically consist of cast-in-place concrete structures that are roughly 6 to 8 metres wide (20 to 25 feet) and up to maybe 1.8 to 2.5 metres high (6 to 8 feet).  They typically run below city streets and for the most part we are all unaware of their existence.  That is until they experience a structural failure or they are unable to carry the required flow.

The City has four main Aqueducts located at the following creeks:

  • The East Davignon Creek which flows under Farwell Terrace from Second Line down to Wallace Terrace.
  • The Clark Creek which is in the East end of the City a little west of the Country Club Golf Course where it runs under Queen Street and out to the river.
  • The Central Creek Aqueduct which is located in the west end of the City and runs under Wallace Terrace, along Central Avenue and into the East Davignon Creek within the Steel Plant property and out to the river.
  • The Fort Creek Aqueduct which runs down Wellington Street from Carmen’s Way to John Street and then turns and goes along the laneway to the east side of John Street and out into the river south of Queen Street.

You may have heard of the Fort Creek Aqueduct as it is in the process of being reconstructed over the past few years. This is the most central of the aqueducts and also the one with the least capacity.  While all of the others were upgraded in the 1970’s and 1980’s, this aqueduct has received only minor repairs over the years.  Until now!  The City with the assistance of both the Federal and Provincial Governments is in the process of bringing this aqueduct up to a standard that will enable it to carry 100-year storm events for the foreseeable future.

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