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Project Name



Green Partners Infrastructure & Ministry of Transportation Ontario

St. Lawrence River Kingston, Ontario



Project Summary 

As an ongoing project, our team is incredibly proud to be involved in the de-icing portion of the Wolfe Island Ferry Dock Upgrade project. The Wolfe Island ferry operates year-round to connect Kingston, ON (mainland) to Wolfe Island. The ferry dock upgrade is designed to accommodate its new and larger ferry. The project began in 2020 and is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

Using our custom 12' x 36' barge, equipped with a crane, spooler, work deck, and GPS technology, our team installed 30 Can-Air Pro XL De-icer diffusers into the Kingston Harbour to maintain an ice-free path for the new Wolfe Islander ferry to travel. The remainder of the installation is scheduled for the summer of 2024. That portion will include the installation of the custom lengths of bubbler de-icing line around the new dock perimeter. Stay tuned to see more updates! 

Wolfe Island Ferry Dock De-icing Project 

Project Objective

  • Maintain an ice-free area around the newly constructed ferry dock terminal to prevent damage caused by ice-build up and allow the ferry to operate throughout the winter months. 


  • Install 30 Can-Air De-icer Pro XL diffusers 

  • Install custom lengths of de-icing bubbler airline around the dock perimeter 

  • Secure reinforced Aquatube sinking airline to underwater welded frames

  • Install equipment using AEC's specialized installation barge that is fully equipped with a crane to lower diffusers, GPS locate equipment, analyze depths, and more.


  • Large sheets of ice traveling downstream to interfere with ferry path and infrastructure 

  • Strong currents to move de-icers 

  • Zebra mussel accumulation on equipment during summer system shut down 

  • Project approval process through government agencies 

  • Dock construction delays have pushed the timeline and installation date multiple times. The custom de-icing airline was scheduled to be installed around the dock's perimeter, but construction delays has forced this to be completed at a later date. 


  • Project start: 2020

  • Design approval stage: 2020-2022

  • De-icer diffuser installation date: September 2023

  • Custom de-icing airline installation: Summer 2024

  • Project completion: 2025

Planned Solutions 

  • To address the anticipated challenges out team worked closely with our engineers to review historical river data. With this information, de-icer placement was determined to best deflect ice sheets. The proposed equipment is also designed to withstand significant currents, due to diffuser weights, and added precautionary attachment points.

  • Regular cleaning of equipment will resolve zebra mussel build up.

  • To accomodate to scheduling changes caused by construction delays, our team has come up with temporary airline attachment points for the diffusers. Future visits have also been scheduled to complete the remainder of the work. 


  • Aquatic Engineering Canada is excited to complete the installation of our heavy duty de-icers within the St. Lawrence river and closely monitor the results. 

AEC Custom Barge with crane sunrise
Can-Air De-icer Pro XL diffuser
Kingston Ferry Dock De-icing Installation
Pond Pro/ AEC barge installing de-icer diffuser in St.Lawrence
De-icer diffuser being lifted to load onto the barge
Installation of de-icing system around the Kingston Ferry dock
Lowering of diffuser into the Kingston Harbour by Pond Pro/ AEC
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