Long time Kingston residents in the east end may have to move to make way for the third crossing, a bridge that will join the east and west ends of the city. City officials aren’t sure yet how many homeowners and business owners will be affected by the new bridge, but some families have been approached by the City, asking to buy their land for the project.
The Francis family is one of those families. They have lived in their home on John Counter Boulevard for more than 40 years. Their property is right near where the bridge exit needs to be. They tell CKWS that the plan for the bridge snuck up on them.
“It doesn’t really sink in until it’s finalized that the bridge is going to go. Then it sinks in like, ‘cripes, we’re going to lose our house.'”
Taking the surrounding land is all part of a process by Kingston city council. They need several pieces of land in order to build the bridge and the ramps to access the new crossing.
They say there is a lot of history on this land for them and their family.
“Three generations have been born here, raised here, this is our neighbourhood,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot happen, a lot of history here.”
Mayor Bryan Paterson says acquiring the land is a big process. But he adds their No. 1 concern is making sure it’s fair for the homeowners.
“It’s very important that we deal honestly and fairly,” the mayor said. “If this is land that is required then they should end up with a fair price.”
Paterson added that the first step in that process is negotiation, which the Francis family is currently in the middle of with the city. He said that expropriation is only required if the timeline of the project will not be met.
Work is expected to begin on the project by spring of 2019.