Artist rendition of the bridge

FAQ

The following are some of most the frequently asked question regarding phase 4 of the Third Crossing project.

 

What is the cost of the project and who is paying for it?

The project value is $180 million plus tax (2019 dollars) for the new two-lane crossing with an accessible, multi-use trail for active transportation. Due to the significant capital costs of the project, provincial and federal government grant funding was needed to move the project forward. As of Feb. 21, 2018, all three levels of government funding have been secured with the city, the province and the federal governments contributing $60 million each.

Why is a new bridge needed?

Community discussions on the need for a Third Crossing over the Cataraqui River date as far back as 1967 with Mayor Fray's inaugural address. In the years to follow, discussions continued about joining the east and west ends of the city with a third route – a bridge over the Cataraqui River. The two existing routes from east-to-west are Highway 401 and the La Salle Causeway – neither of which are owned by the City.

To provide greater access, support active transportation and Kington's continued growth, an Environmental Assessment (EA) began in 2009 to determine the need, impact, location and concept for a Third Crossing. The outcome of the EA, preliminary design and business plan ultimately confirmed the need for the bridge. Having secured project funding in equal amounts from the Provincial and Federal governments, the City is now moving forward with detailed design and construction.

How was the bridge location chosen?

The environmental assessment studied a range of factors affecting location including local neighbourhoods, marine life, plants and wildlife, shorelines, noise, watercraft navigation, intersection with other transportation routes and more. The Environmental Assessment found the best location for the bridge is a link between Gore Road and John Counter Boulevard.

Will construction of the new bridge increase my taxes?

No. The City, together with the provincial and federal governments, are paying equal one-third cost-shares to design and build the bridge. No dedicated tax increase is required.

Is the new bridge recognized in the City's Official Plan?

Yes. The Official Plan (OP), shaped by extensive input from the community, lays out a policy statement for transportation infrastructure "To increase sustainable means of travel and reduce reliance on the automobile, the City will promote a compact form of development within the urban boundary having a mix of uses that reduce the need for travel, and will also promote increased densities that are supportive of public transit alternatives. Increasing opportunities for active transportation and improving the maintenance of pedestrian and cycling routes will increase usage, safety and access for all."

The OP specifically identifies the Third Crossing as the construction of a two-lane bridge extending from John Counter Boulevard to Gore Road as a major infrastructure project to support the City's overall active transportation network.

Why is the City investing in transportation infrastructure such as the new bridge?

Smart investments in the City's transportation infrastructure continue to be a necessity to ensure Kingston has a transportation system that meets both its current and future needs. The City's transportation system has to be safe, efficient, and adaptable. Smart investments consider the effective management of existing assets and the ability to provide new and/or expanded transportation infrastructure to meet new and changing needs.

Investments in infrastructure continue to be a key priority for the City, which recognizes that strong and robust infrastructure ensures a high quality-of-life for Kingstonians. It also provides the City with the foundation to support a sustainable community.

When will the project schedule be available to the public?

Once the contactor has been selected and the Integrated Project Delivery team is formed (City staff and contractor), a project schedule will be fully developed. It will provide the overall and annual anticipated design and construction activities. The overall and annual project schedule will be used at stakeholder meetings, open houses and events, and posted online to offer  the public advanced notice of key activities in the east-side area, the west-side area and work in the Cataraqui River.

Will the project schedule change during the project?

As construction planning and on-the-ground implementation occurs, some changes to the schedule can be expected. Crews may be slightly ahead of schedule in some areas, and slightly behind schedule in other areas, but are striving toward the project being on-time and on-budget. Our community liaison staff will keep stakeholders and the public well informed of dates for design and construction and will provide the on-the-ground dates and details as work progresses.

 

When will I be advised that construction is occurring in my area?

Stakeholder meetings, open houses, social media posts, construction notices and other communication and engagement tools and methods will be combined to provide stakeholders and the public with advance and repeat notice of construction-related activity. Our team will work closely with near neighbours, such as residents and businesses, other stakeholders and the public to provide construction staging, anticipated timing and the expected impacts of on and off-street construction.

Will the public be consulted on the environmental work between the City and Parks Canada?

Yes. The Detailed Impact Analysis (DIA) process is a technical regulatory process governed by Parks Canada. The project will need to successfully complete the process in order to obtain construction permits. The City is working closely with Parks Canada through the DIA process as part of the Phase 4 work. One of the key aims of the DIA is to determine the impacts of construction and to propose mitigation measures to minimize impacts to the environment. The involvement of the IPD team is needed before the DIA process can be finalized since the construction methodology hasn't been fully explored at this time.

Once Parks Canada has reviewed and approved the DIA document, it will be posted to the City's project website for public review and comment. Stakeholders and the public will then have the opportunity to review the DIA report's content and provide meaningful input. The City will notify stakeholders and the public about the DIA review opportunity and any other opportunities for engagement on this work.

What are the Environmental Assessment requirements and what work remains to satisfy the requirements?

The provincial Environmental Assessment regulatory requirements have been satisfied (completed and approved by the Ministry of Environment in 2015). This was included in Phases One and Two of the City's Third Crossing Action Plan. Public consultation was a significant part of all three stages of the project and will continue throughout Phase Four (design and construction).

To meet federal requirements, the City is in a collaborative process to complete a Detailed Impact Assessment (DIA), which is a pathway selected by Parks Canada for the project. The DIA includes City staff drafting a comprehensive report, under the direction of Parks Canada, that demonstrates the environmental considerations, impacts and proposed mitigation strategies for the project.

Parks Canada must approve dia before it goes public

Once the draft DIA is completed, Parks Canada will review the report and provide comment and/or direction for the report to meet the satisfaction of Parks Canada. Once the regulatory report content and process is satisfied, Parks Canada will permit the City to post the draft DIA report for stakeholder and public comment.

As the timing of posting the draft report rests with Parks Canada, City staff will continue to keep stakeholders and the public updated about the timing of stakeholder and public meetings to provide input into the draft DIA report as soon as it is posted.

The draft report is required by Parks Canada to be posted for 30 days for public comment, however, City staff will extend this 30-day review period to allow for a greater comment period. Staff will collaborate with Parks Canada in the development and release of the draft DIA report ensuring stakeholders and the public have an opportunity to provide input and see how it was addressed.

While undertaking the regulatory DIA process, the City will also conduct a Detailed Design consultation program after the contractor has been selected. This additional consultation will offer stakeholders and the public opportunities to provide input into final design elements, including environmental management. Staff will plan the Detailed Design consultation program in collaboration with its design-build contractor as part of the Integrated Project Delivery collaboration model.

What is an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model and the why is the City is using it for this project?

An IPD model has helped large infrastructure projects across North America be completed on time and under budget. The IPD Team (the designer/contractor) and the City (owner) develop goals at the project's outset, share information and accept their respective responsibilities as equal partners. They share the financial risk and reward as an integrated team and collaborate in one ‘big room,' taking a two-heads-are- better-than-one approach to deliver the best possible bridge project.

Based on the City's review of procurement alternatives and benefits during the business case phase, the opportunity for innovation with an IPD model made other project delivery options. Using an IPD model allows for an IPD team to build a trusting and valued relationship to verify the preliminary design, to explore innovation and opportunities for efficiency during detailed design, and to have access to a builder's practicality, promoting an overall efficient construction phase.

How long does the Request for Proposal procurement stage take?

The Request for Proposal (RFP) is anticipated to be released in late February 2018 and will mark the beginning of the process to select an IPD team. This process requires the City to review and evaluate detailed submissions to select a top-ranked IPD team to complete Phase 4's detailed design and construction phase. The selection process may take six months and is anticipated to be completed by mid-summer 2018.

What is the competitive selection process?

The City is undertaking a two-stage RFP process to invite interested IPD teams to submit proposals to design and construct the project.

  1. The objective of the first stage is for IPD teams to highlight their previous experience, team structure, and proven successes on large scale projects. The City evaluation team will score each IPD proposal and rank them from highest to lowest. The City evaluation team will then short-list the top-ranked proposals and invite those IPD teams to participate in the RFP's second stage.
  2. The objective of the second stage is to determine how the IPD team intends to design and construct the project in the most efficient and innovative way possible. The City evaluation team will then interview and negotiate with the short-listed IPD teams to identify how their skillsets and resources best align with the project's objectives. This negotiation phase will help determine the IPD team that can provide the best overall value for the City.  Once the top-ranked IPD team has been determined, it will enter a contract negotiation phase with the City. Once the contract has been finalized between the City and the top-ranked proponent, it will become the City's IPD team in charge of fulfilling the bridge's detailed design and construction (Action Plan Phase Four).

Will there be local workers on this project and will local businesses benefit?

The business case stated that large infrastructure projects provide both direct and indirect benefits to Kingston. The City anticipates employers using local workers on all its infrastructure projects, including on the Third Crossing. The City also encourages the IPD team to use local goods, services and businesses, which aligns with the City's economic development and sustainability initiatives.

What are the consultation opportunities in Phase 4 of the project?

Continued stakeholder and public engagement remains vital to the success of the project. The City is planning meaningful communication and engagement programs as part of detailed design and construction. Engagements will touch on such items as minimizing construction-related impacts, protecting the environment, beautifying the, detailed design and aesthetics, and integrating public art.

When will the public be engaged?

The City is currently informing and engaging stakeholders and the public as part of Phase 4 of the Action Plan. This includes providing social media updates, attending speaking engagements, providing project updates on the City's project webpage and more.

During the RFP stage, stakeholder follow-up meetings will be held to address topic-specific elements such as environmental protection; geotechnical investigations; property acquisitions and others to ensure that stakeholders remain informed and engaged.

Once the IPD team is on board, the City will implement its various consultation programs and connect with those interested in and/or affected by the project. More information will be available after the City has awarded the project contract to its IPD team to ensure a collaborative planning approach.

Will the public be consulted on the environmental work between the City and Parks Canada?

Yes. The Detailed Impact Analysis (DIA) process is a technical regulatory process governed by Parks Canada. The project will need to successfully complete the process in order to obtain construction permits. The City is working closely with Parks Canada through the DIA process as part of the Phase 4 work. One of the key aims of the DIA is to determine the impacts of construction and to propose mitigation measures to minimize impacts to the environment. The involvement of the IPD team is needed before the DIA process can be finalized since the construction methodology hasn't been fully explored at this time.

Once Parks Canada has reviewed and approved the DIA document, it will be posted to the City's project website for public review and comment. Stakeholders and the public will then have the opportunity to review the DIA report's content and provide meaningful input. The City will notify stakeholders and the public about the DIA review opportunity and any other opportunities for engagement on this work.

Why is the City renaming the bridge and how do we become involved?

There's no better way to directly involve Kingstonians in ownership of this new, historic, city-shaping crossing than having the community name its bridge. This is a great opportunity that everyone can participate in. The City anticipates beginning the bridge-naming process over the course of the next several months and will inform the public on how to become involved once the start and end dates have been confirmed.

When will we will start to receive construction information?

Over the course of the next year, detailed design and construction information will be sent out to stakeholders and the public that accurately conveys how the bridge will be built, the project's stages, the anticipated timing, what to expect, what's next and how to stay connected with the project. The City will continue to offer printed and electronic information and engagement opportunities along with community-relations initiatives to keep stakeholders and the public well informed and engaged early and often throughout the detailed design and construction period.

Where can we submit our comments?

Public comments about the project are always welcome. Please contact us at thirdcrossing@cityofkingston.ca or call us at 613-546-4291, ext. 3130.

What are all the ways I can stay involved in the project?

Stay in touch with the project team to become involved in future engagement opportunities. To learn more and provide your comments anytime, please contact us:

Where can I read the previous consultation summaries for the project?

The previous stakeholder and public consultation documents and summaries are located on the Action Plan Phases One – Three webpage

Has the bridge's design been finalized?

No. Preliminary Design was completed in 2017 and the next step includes the verification stage and Detailed Design. Stakeholders and the public will have input into the Detailed Design of the bridge prior to reaching Final Design. Detailed Design will include project elements open to consultation leaving off from the Preliminary Design, such as aesthetics and lighting, local area vegetation on the east and west sides, public art and other non-fixed project elements. It is important to note that Detailed Design may occur while construction is underway, which would not impact the outcome of Detailed Design decisions.

When will construction start and finish?

If an IPD team is selected by the summer 2018, bridge construction could begin in mid-2019. It is estimated that the bridge will be substantially complete at the end of 2022. More updates will be available as Phase 4 progresses.

How will the City minimize the temporary inconvenience of construction?

As part of the technical planning, the City is working to address the many aspects of the design, construction and traffic management, environmental management and other key project elements to minimize the project's impacts, particularly to local area stakeholders and residents. The City will also work closely with the IPD team to refine designs, construction staging and timing plans and seek opportunities to reduce the temporary inconvenience of construction.

Has the construction start date been set?

No. Once the City, together with the contractor (the Integrated Project Delivery team), completes the verification process, the estimated construction start and end dates will be set. The verification process is expected to be completed in late 2018 and more information will be available once the project schedule has been confirmed.

Can early work activities, such as geotechnical tests, area investigations and utility relocations, be allowed to proceed before the Parks Canada Permit is issued?

Yes. Limited field investigation activity and preparatory work will continue to enable the successful contractor to have the most timely and accurate data prior to the start of heavy construction.

 

What are the benefits for Kingston Transit's service once the bridge is operational?

Connecting the city, increased transit reliability and more efficient service are key benefits of the new bridge once operational. The Third Crossing creates opportunities to provide transit service from east-to-west and west-to-east that truly connects Kingston. Improvements will include:

  • a new express route to reduce time to popular spots like the King's Crossing outlet mall, RIOCAN Centre, and Cataraqui Centre (avoiding the need to travel across the La Salle Causeway and through downtown);
  • expansion of existing transit routes that will provide more travel options for employees commuting to a growing St. Lawrence Business Park; and
  • new connections to existing transit routes on Montreal Street and Highway 15 making it easier to travel along these developing corridors.

The reduction in traffic congestion as a result of the Third Crossing will also result in improved transit service reliability. Reliable transit service supports increasetransit ridership, because the schedule will be more consistent. The Third Crossing will also make existing Kingston Transit routes more efficient by reducing the amount of time it takes to travel across the La Salle Causeway. The time saved could be used elsewhere to create new transit routes or provide expanded service without the need to increase operating and capital budgets.

Why is the new bridge important to the City's active transportation network?

The Third Crossing is part of this strategic vision and another important link within the overall transportation network that serves the current and future needs of the city. The new bridge will also maximize the value of infrastructure investments already made and future investments in the City's long-term plan. The new bridge is also based on the need for additional transportation capacity to meet travel demand across the Cataraqui River, including the sizable catchment area for pedestrians and cyclists, as the city continues to grow and encourage active transportation over the next 20 years.

How will the new bridge benefit the provision of emergency services?

Kingston General Hospital (KGH) is the leading hospital in Southeastern Ontario for acute and specialty care. KGH is also the lead trauma hospital for the region with the responsibility of providing high-level care including initial assessment and treatment on a 24-hour basis. For residents located in Kingston East, the La Salle Causeway is the primary route for access to the hospital. Traffic congestion and/or closures on the La Salle Causeway can impact emergency response times. The new bridge will provide reduced congestion on the La Salle Causeway, increasing efficiency on this primary route. It will also provide an alternate route along the crossing for access to emergency services and the potential to decrease response times for paramedic services.

A Master Fire Plan was also developed for the City and provided specific recommendations in support of the Third Crossing. Kingston Fire & Rescue Services identified the La Salle Causeway as a limitation to emergency response agencies for gaining access to resources located in the core area of the city when required to support the east side of the city in a timely way. Currently, there are two fire stations on the east side of the Cataraqui River (Joyceville Road and Gore Road) staffed with volunteer firefighters. The Third Crossing is an opportunity to further evaluate and optimize the location and requirement for fire stations within the city and the anticipated need and timing for changes to staffing levels, including the use of volunteer and career staff.

How will the Kingston cycling network and users benefit from the bridge?

A key thing heard from the public in previous consultation is the need to increase opportunities for active transportation across the Cataraqui River. The Third Crossing is another essential multi-modal facility for creating more opportunities for active travel and accessibility across the river with support for new connections on the west and east shore for walking and cycling.

Cyclists will benefit from the provision of safe and attractive infrastructure to use to cross the Cataraqui River.  Multi-use trail linkages will improve the active transportation network north and south of the bridge and also benefit our pedestrian and cycling network.

How will the new bridge help to create local induced demand?

Local induced demand refers to the re-routing of travellers already making trips within the City's transportation network. New transportation infrastructure, such as the Third Crossing, does not cause travellers to switch from walking, cycling or taking the bus to instead use their cars. Nor does the Third Crossing create or promote more trips to be made within the transportation network. Instead, local induced demand is a result of travellers choosing to change their route. As our analysis has shown, the Third Crossing would be a well-used transportation link attracting travellers who would otherwise use either Highway 401 or the La Salle Causeway for travel across the Cataraqui River.

How will the City pay for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the bridge?

Annual operations and on-going costs for maintenance of the bridge have been factored into the existing annual operating budget and the asset management capital envelope for all the City's transportation infrastructure.

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