St. Lawrence Seaway = BIG and HEAVY but Very Precise Fabrication & Installation Work!

The Welland Canal, part of the St. Lawrence Seaway Waterways, connects Lake Ontario with Lake Erie with a 326 foot (99.5m) elevation change. The two 5ft thick x 45ft wide massive gates that come together to separate the locks and the hold the Seaway water both in and out, weigh-in at 100,000s of tons - each! In between gates, about 91 million litres (20 million gallons) of water are required for each lock transit

For years AIM Industrial has been awarded numerous jobs to maintain, upgrade and repair the mechanics at the locks in Welland, Ontario.

AIM was awarded through competitive bidding, and is shown in the pictures below, installing 18 valve covers for Locks 1 & 2, that AIM fabricated in their own 50,000 square foot shop. The work is always in the winter when the locks are closed. The massive valves that fluctuate the water level are covered with 1/2" thick steel beam reinforced checker plate. The preparation for this high-standard level of welding is part of what AIM Industrial's reputation has been built upon in working with steel.

In our Fab shop, after the engineered drawing came in, the project started with months worth of work: cutting, fitting, welding solid, smoothly finishing off all parts, post-weld heat tested, and then shipping to site. All was made easy and went smoothly fabricating the heavy steel components using our inhouse crane equipment.

The onsite work is always made easier when, before fabrication, time is taken to check and ensure the measurements are correct. Once that is done, putting the puzzle together is fairly simple for our team of fitters and welders.

With a site such as the St. Lawrence Seaway and the massive Canal Locks, safety, planning, and communication are always critical. Our team are experts at this - thus the longevity of our relationship with the Seaway!


Welding of one out of 18 new valve covers on site in March of 2022.

Starting to prepare the work area with proper safety guarding and hoarding.

View from above of the valve entrance.

Fitting and tac welding of steel in the AIM Fab Shop. All covers are set upside down.

On stands for the next stage of welding.

Starting to stack and stage 18 valve covers.

AIM's large 50,000 sq.ft. Fabrication Shop is ideal for structural projects.

Sections are in the massive furnace for post-weld heat treating.

All the covers being pre-assembled in the AIM shop to ensure efficient and cost-effective site installation.


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