The government of Ontario announced Tuesday it is investing in the Third Crossing Project – a new bridge to connect the east and west communities of Kingston that will span the Cataraqui River.
This support for the project came from Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, who pledged up to $60 million from the province.
“Ontario is funding this important project that will help reduce travel times and keep goods moving throughout the region,” said the Minister. “Investing in this project will provide better opportunities and access for businesses and improve the quality of life for those living in Kingston.”
Minister Del Duca was accompanied by Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands.
“I am thrilled that the province has made this commitment to support the third crossing project that the City of Kingston has identified as a key priority,” Kiwala said. “Adding a third crossing over the Cataraqui River will provide an alternate emergency route, accommodate for future growth, and decrease travel times for residents and businesses in the region.”
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The new bridge will provide an additional route for commuters and lower the regular traffic congestion experienced in the downtown core, especially when the current two alternatives are closed. Both those alternatives – Highway 401 and the LaSalle Causeway bridge – have experienced downtimes over recent months due to scheduled and unforseen events.
As well as providing another access route for emergency vehicles to Kingston’s east side, the third crossing will accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and other forms of active transportation with a multi-use trail.
Projected to cost $180 million in total, the Ontario government said it will work with the City to look into possible federal funding options as well.
Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson welcomed the news, saying: “This is a major project that requires participation from all levels of government and today demonstrates the province is committed to working alongside us to move it forward. This vital link will benefit our community now and into the future and should Council vote to move it forward, I’m pleased to say we have provincial support.”
Construction and maintenance for the bridge will be the City’s responsibility. The project is expected to break ground in 2019 and be completed by 2023.
Image source (artist’s rendition of proposed 3rd crossing): City of Kingston