A lift bridge spanning a canal with its deck raised to allow a boat to pass underneath.

Burlington Canal Lift Bridge – Lift Span Deck Replacement

Our Client’s Challenge

The Burlington Canal Lift Bridge provides access to thousands of motorists and pedestrians along Burlington Bay (also known as Hamilton Harbour) in Burlington, Ontario, while maintaining navigation through one of Canada’s busiest canals. Every year, the bridge operates approximately 4,000 times, allowing about 6,500 vessels to pass through the canal, including more than 1,000 cargo-carrying ships, making it a critical transportation, economic, and community link for Ontario, Canada.

Public Services and Procurement Canada has scheduled a deck replacement project during its annual winter shutdown. The project also rehabilitates the approach spans and widens sections of the sidewalk to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Our Solution

The Burlington Canal Lift Bridge currently carries four lanes of traffic along Eastport Drive (two lanes in the northbound and southbound directions) along the shores of Lake Ontario. On average, approximately 25,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day. During peak seasons, nearly 3,000 pedestrians and cyclists travel along Beachway Park in Burlington daily, many using the bridge to cross the canal. The structure is a tower-driven, vertical-lift and moveable bridge with a lift span 116 metres long and a vertical lift of 33.5 metres. Its maximum clearance for marine traffic is approximately 36.5 metres at full-lift height while maintaining an elevation of approximately five metres when locked in its lowered position.

The EllisDon Civil Ltd. and Chant Ltd. joint venture (the construction manager) retained Gannett Fleming for independent quality assurance and support for the structural steel and deck replacement work, including:

  • Review of comprehensive inspection and test plans.
  • Layout verification.
  • Review of request for information related to structural steel installation.
  • Inspection of installation processes to confirm compliance of execution planning to contract requirements.
  • Verify effectiveness and uniformity of adopted procedures.
  • Assist in the assembly, tracking, and disposition of non-conformance reports.

Our firm also aided the development of field means and methods solutions to discovery work by providing engineering support and guidance during initial stages of the project.

The bridge construction project also rehabilitates the approaches and widens sidewalks following the deck replacement. During this period, the bridge will be operational without impacting marine users. Bridge deck work takes place during its winter shutdown.

Key Features

  • New lift span deck.
  • Rehabilitated approach spans.
  • Wider sidewalk sections for pedestrian and cyclist safety.


  • Improves overall bridge operations.
  • Extends bridge deck and sidewalk lifespan by 50 years.
  • Extends bridge approach lifespan by 30 years.
  • Ensures safety of marine, vehicular, cyclist, and pedestrian users.

Awards & Recognition

  • Awards. This web part is hidden.


EllisDon Civil Ltd. and Chant Ltd., in joint venture for Public Services Procurement Canada


Burlington, Ontario


Independent Quality Assurance and Support

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