Kingston’s LaSalle Causeway to remain closed after bridge ‘compromised during construction’

The LaSalle Causeway will remain closed until further notice after Public Services and Procurement Canada says an element of the bridge was compromised during construction over the weekend. John Lawless/Global News

The LaSalle Causeway in Kingston will remain closed indefinitely after officials say the structure was damaged during construction.

The causeway had been closed for scheduled rehabilitation work over the weekend, but didn’t reopen as planned Monday morning and was still shut off to vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians Tuesday.

In a media release late Tuesday, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) said the closure will remain in place until further notice.

“An incident on the Bascule Bridge occurred on Saturday, March 30, at approximately 5 pm, whereby an element of the bridge was compromised during construction. No one was injured or harmed as a result of this incident,” the release reads.

“Traffic barriers and fencing are in place, and traffic personnel is stationed at both ends to prevent all public access to the bridge.”

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The causeway, which connects downtown Kingston to Pittsburgh Township near the mouth of the Cataraqui River, is used by an estimated 23,000 vehicles every day, according to data from the federal government.

The closure comes as Kingston has warned that as many as 500,000 visitors may come to the community to view Monday’s total solar eclipse.

PSPC said it is “working on a solution to stabilize the bridge and repair the damaged element” but did not provide a timeline on when the causeway may reopen.

“The estimated time for repair is currently unknown,” it said in Tuesday’s release.

“A complete assessment of the damage to the structure is needed and can only be undertaken once the affected element can be adequately supported.”

In the meantime, motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and emergency vehicles are being told to use the Waaban Crossing.

The ongoing construction project is being overseen by the federal government and will see the bridge deck replaced as well as restoration work on the structure’s trunnion steel and counterweight, officials have said.

The work has been scheduled for the traditional off-seasons, from November 2023 to the end of April 2024, and from November 2024 to the end of April 2025.

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