November 21, 2017 8:38 pm

Kingston city staff confident federal funding for the third bridge crossing is coming

City staff are optimistic Fed's will provide $60 million for Kingston's $180 million third bridge crossing

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Kingston’s third bridge crossing may be moving one step closer to construction.

City council will decide Tuesday night whether to give their staff the green light to prepare a “design-build” contract to start the work in 2019.

The province has already pledged up to $60 million for Kingston’s third bridge crossing.

Now there are signs the federal government could be stepping up to the plate with matching funds.

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson says the federal funding is the last piece of the puzzle.

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“What we know is that we are being reviewed for funding, that there is funding available for exactly the sort of project that we’re talking about with the third crossing,” Paterson said. “The feedback has been very good. ”

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A staff report confirms that: “Infrastructure Canada has not identified any concerns with the grant funding application and therefore staff anticipates that Infrastructure Canada will be recommending the third crossing project for grant funding approval within the next few months.”

Reached in Ottawa, local MP Mark Gerretsen says he continues lobbying for a federal bridge grant but can’t provide any more specifics.

“I’ve been working at it over the last several months with the department officials and the minister’s office to make sure that if there’s an opportunity for funding there that the federal government takes a serious look at it.”

While the city waits, background work on the city’s biggest ever infrastructure project is expected to move forward.

If council approves, staff will prepare a design-build contract that the mayor says will be issued to builders in January.

“If we start that process now then we can start to get some interest back get that process a few months underway so that if the funding does come early in 2018 then we can hit the ground running.”

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Which is necessary for council to stick to a 2019 construction start date.

The winning bidder should be selected sometime next summer.

The two-lane bridge will be over a kilometre long, stretching from John Counter Boulevard to Gore Road.

The $180-million project is expected to take between three and four years to build.

If everything moves ahead on the projected timelines, motorists could by using the third crossing sometime in 2022.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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