Ice delays seaway opening date

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A high ice buildup has delayed the opening of the seaway this year.

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System has announced the navigation season has been delayed until the first week of April.

The section of the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Lake Ontario won’t open until 8 a.m. on Apr. 2, 2015 – nearly a week later than normal.

It’s the first time the seaway’s opening has been delayed since 1997.

Seaway officials made the move after considering a number of factors including save transit for boats.

The delay also affects the Welland Canal.

A bitterly cold February has led to significant buildup of ice with nearly 75 per cent of Great Lakes covered, according to Environment Canada.

This is the second winter the Great Lakes have experienced a higher-than-average ice buildup.

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