SESSION" 1.901
From the Toronto Public Library

Burlington Channel, in the county of Wentworth, is simply a cut through a piece of low laud which partly separates Lake Ontario from a large sheet of deep water called Burlington Bay, enabling vessels to reach the wharfs at the city of Hamilton. Both sides of the canal are lined with piers.
Construction.—The work was commenced under commissioners in 1825. It was opened for the passage of vessels in 1830, and completed as originally undertaken in 1832, at a cost $124,356.08. The works were afterwards extended, improved and partly reconstructed by the provincial government at an outlay of $308,328.32. previous to Confederation. From 1867 to 1882, inclusively, the superstructure of the piers having been partly destroyed by fire, was renewed by the Government at a cost of $30,426.89. It was maintained by the Railways and
Canals Department till 1S85, when it was placed under the control of the Department of Public Works. The general form of the canal has not since been changed, and consists of a cut through a sand bar about 2,700 ft. in length, with an average depth of 14 feet at low water, both sides of the cut being lined with vertical-faced cribwork piers. The northern pier has a total length of 2,307 feet and a general width of 20 feet, excepting at the outer and inner ends where there are blocks 30 and 35 feet wide. The southern pier has a total length of2,710 feet and a general width of 20 feet, excepting at the outer end where there is a cribwork block of 30 feet wide for a distance of 30 feet, and at the inner end, where the cribwork is of irregular form and the width, varies from 25 to 45 feet for a distance of 590 feet. The piers are 103 feet apart at their inner ends and 174 at their outer ends. The top of the piers is 5' feet above ordinary low water.
The southern pier carries a lighthouse ; above the centre of the piers, at the crest line of the sand bank, recesses were left in the cribwork on both sides for a ferry scow running across the channel. There is also a traffic swing bridge built by the Dominion Government close to the railway bridge opening on the south side.
In 1895 the traffic over the channel had increased to such an extent that it was found impossible to accommodate the public, and this department prepared plans and specifications for the erection of an iron swing bridge. The contract for the masonry of this bridge was let to Mr. Geo. F. Webb, of Hamilton, in August, 1895 for the bulk sum of $15,799. The masonry work was completed ready for the iron superstructure, in April, 1896. On January 28, 1896, another contract was awarded to the Dominion Bridge Co., of Montreal, for supplying and erecting
the iron superstructure, .Sic, for the sum of $15,290. All the works in these contracts have been satisfactorily completed. A further sum of $1,500 was paid to the Dominion Bridge Co. for supplying and installing, by special agreement, an electric apparatus for operating the swing span ; power is supplied by the Hamilton Electric Radial Railway Company.
In 1897-8 automatic gates to regulate the traffic at the approaches have been erected. Telephone communication has been made with the ' power house ' and a ' power indicator,' for the information of the man in charge, has been placed in the bridge house. Extensive repairs were also made to the piers, which consisted in placing new faced timbers, some planking and earth filling. The whole of the repair: were completed at the beginning of the fiscal year 1899 and the sum of $1,366.75 expended.
During the past fiscal year the wages of the working staff of the bridge, and maintenance, amounted to $2,662.00. Repairs to bridge, etc., $1,312.91.
Tenders were called for the reconstruction of the superstructure of the south pier, western or bay end, a distance of 989 feet from low water level up and the construction of sheet-pile work on the channel side. Work on this contract had not commenced at the end of the fiscal year.