The Port of Montreal has confirmed Hydro-Québec will raise two power lines above the St. Lawrence River, an initiative that will allow larger cruise ships to reach Montreal.
 
Following a request from the Montreal Port Authority, Hydro-Québec will tighten power cables next year at Trois-Rivières and Boucherville, providing a clearance of 52 metres under the wires for vessels sailing to Montreal.
 
The power lines were lower in height than the Laviolette Bridge in Trois-Rivières, the lowest insurmountable obstacle on the St. Lawrence River for vessels sailing to Montreal. The bridge has 52 metres of clearance under its structure.
 
Air draft - the height of the part of a ship that is out of the water - is vital for vessels, especially cruise ships that are built higher than cargo ships because of their multiple passenger decks.
 
"I commend Hydro-Québec for committing to take action," said Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority. "This is excellent news for the cruise sector in Montreal, which has continued to evolve over the past three years thanks to the work of our marketing and operations teams and the support of Montreal Cruise Committee partners. Raising the power lines above the river will allow the port to welcome larger cruise vessels beginning in 2014, including those capable of carrying 3,000 to 4,000 passengers."