Despite the COVID-19 pandemic continuing into 2022, there is something to look forward to this year when it comes to transportation in Kingston, Ont.
The city’s $180-million third bridge crossing is expected to open by the end of the year. And not just the bridge — but the reconstructed landing points on both sides of the Cataraqui River.
Despite the cold weather and ongoing pandemic safety protocols and work challenges, the work continues. In fact, some could call this “the home stretch.”
“I call it a very significant year for the project,” says Mark Van Buren, manager of large infrastructure projects.
“We’re certainly working very well to make sure that we can get the bridge open for public use by the end of this year. We’re still not there in terms of circling a date on the calendar — but again an awful lot of optimism that we’ll have the bridge open for use by the end of the year.”
As for the budget, Van Buren says yes, the crossing that spans Cataraqui River is on track.
He also says a lot of the work being done early in this year continues to be on the bridge deck.
When it comes to the complementary road work being done like on the Pittsburgh or east side at Gore Road and Highway 15 that’s taking shape as well.
“It’s an important intersection not only to serve for use for the third crossing when it’s finished but also all of the growth and development that we continue to see on the east side of the community,” says Van Buren.
“And again — beyond supporting all of the vehicle use — we really see this intersection as supporting active transportation as well.”
Switching sides of the river, the John Counter — Montreal Street area on the west side is getting ready for its make-over.
“An awful lot of the work on the west side is going to start this spring,” says Van Buren.
“Then we’ll get some advance work started this winter with some utilities that we have to take care of on the west shore. We’re working to get that started in the spring and again that’ll look as road and active transportation improvements that will come from the bridge up to the Montreal Street intersection.”
A naming process for the bridge is also nearing an end — the city has committed to a name that honours the area’s Indigenous heritage.