The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation wanted to conduct a study of four of its locks in the Maisonneuve Region, namely at Saint-Lambert, Côte-Sainte-Catherine and Beauharnois (Upper and Lower locks). There were problems adjusting the gate mechanisms, the sluice gates and the ship arresters because of damages caused by a chemical reaction. This led to breakdowns and high maintenance costs.
In light of this problem, replacing the mechanical power systems (gear boxes, gear systems, levers, etc.) with hydraulic power systems was seen as a potential solution.
The objective of the study that the team was mandated to conduct was to confirm that this system conversion would solve the problems with the existing systems by making adjustments to compensate for the effects of the alkali-granulate reaction.
A number of conversion scenarios were defined, and a preliminary design was prepared for the purpose of estimating the costs. Drawings illustrating the critical designs and describing the anticipated effectiveness of the system during the icing season were produced. A cost-benefit study was also conducted to compare the options of retaining the existing mechanical power systems or installing new hydraulic power systems.