February 9, 2018 6:46 pm

Kingston mayor says city needs to know if feds will commit $60M to third bridge crossing

The city needs the funding approval from the federal government soon to stick to set out timelines to begin construction in 2019.

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Time is ticking on Kingston’s third bridge crossing and Mayor Bryan Paterson says the municipality needs to know soon if the federal government is going to contribute $60 million to the $180-million third crossing.

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

“We’ve been very clear that we need an answer soon within the next month, within the next few weeks.”

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He says an answer is necessary if the city is going to begin construction in early 2019.

READ MORE: Call for bridge funding animates State of City address in Kingston

“If we have to re-look at timing, that’s something we could do, but we are going to come to the point soon where we’re just not going to be able to get all the work done that needs to get done in the timeline that we’re doing it. ”

Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen says he’s pushing the request forward as quickly as possible, but the call for funding has only been in front of the federal government for several months.

“The province and the city made their decision public at the beginning of June, but it still took them three months before they had actually submitted the request to the federal government.”

Gerretsen says he continues to lobby the federal government for a timely response and the money.

He feels an answer is coming soon but whether or not it will be in time to meet the city’s timelines, he’s not sure.

“I think that it’s safe to say that you know within the next month or two, I’ll have some information for the city.
Either this is great, or it’s going to be funded or sorry it’s not going to work for your timeline.”

Williamsville Coun. Jim Neill says he’s concerned about the impact a delayed start will have on the bridge’s cost.

“The city bears all cost, overrun costs, and the longer a project is delayed, the more likely we’ll have cost overruns. ”

READ MORE: Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson delivers transport-heavy “State of the City” address

City officials say an outright ‘No,’ from the federal government would kill the bridge project.

The mayor and Gerretsen remain optimistic the funding will come through — it’s just a matter of when.

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