Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions, including themes:
- Bridge design
- Re-naming the bridge
- Benefiting the local community
- Environmental work
- How the project fits with the City's official plan
- Integrated Project Delivery model
Why is a bridge needed?
The bridge is going to have many benefits for the community by:
- providing additional crossing capacity across the Cataraqui River
- improve emergency services
- increasing active transportation
- creating a connection with the east and west approaches to the city
- building new transit, cycling and walking pathways
What is the cost of the project and who is paying for it?
The project value is $180 million (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.
Will the construction of the 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.
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.
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.
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.
When will the project schedule be available to the public?
The high level schedule is anticipated as design to commence in fall 2018, construction to start in summer 2019 and total completion in 2023. 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
What are the phases of the project and where is it at now?
There are four phases of the city's Action Plan for the project:
- Phase One - 2009 to 2013 - Environmental Assessment - Completed
- Phases Two and Three - January 2016 to June 2017 - Preliminary Design and Business Case Completed
- Phase Four - February 2018 to ongoing - Detailed Design and Construction - Underway (2018 – 2022*)
When will construction start?
Construction on the bridge will begin in the summer of 2019. Early works will start in fall 2018 and include to advance construction activities including – geotechnical and environmental studies, utilities relocation, and general site preparation.
When Will I 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 on how the bridge will be built, the project's stages, the anticipated timing, what to expect, and how to stay connected with the project.
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 impacts, particularly to local area stakeholders. The city will also be working closely with the project team to refine designs, construction staging and timing and seek to maximize opportunities to reduce the temporary inconvenience of construction.
Is the bridge design finalized?
No. The city has completed the preliminary design of the project. This means the project team (the contactor) takes the preliminary design and performs the technical validation to evolve the design into the next phase called detailed design. The detailed design phase is anticipated to be completed late 2019.
Re-naming the bridge
Why is the City re-naming the bridge and how do we become involved?
The new bridge is a historic and city-shaping transportation infrastructure asset and there's no better way to directly involve Kingstonians in ownership of this new asset than having the community name our bridge. The identity of the bridge is symbolic to Kingston that is so rich in its history, its community vibrancy and its innovation to become the most sustainable community in Canada. This is a great legacy opportunity that everyone can participate in.
The city anticipates beginning the bridge re-naming process in 2019 and will notify how to become involved.
What are the consultation opportunities of the project right now?
The city's priorities for continued stakeholder and public engagement remains paramount to the success of the project. The city is planning meaningful communication and engagement programs as part of detailed design and construction, such as minimizing construction-related impacts, environmental protection and area beautification, detailed design and aesthetics.
When will stakeholders and the public be engaged?
The city is currently informing and engaging stakeholders and the public, which includes providing social media updates, attending speaking engagements, providing project updates on the city's project webpage and more. For more information about engagement on this project go to our website and look under 'Engagement'.
Where can we submit our comments?
Public comments about the project are always welcome regardless of which stage the project is in. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When will we be consulted on the Parks Canada permit process to ensure that environmental protection measures will be in place?
The city is working closely with federal departments and agencies to ensure all the necessary Detailed Impact Assessment (DIA) and environmental compliance is satisfied.
Once federal departments and agencies have reviewed and approved our required technical compliance DIA document, the document will be posted for public comment. The City will notify stakeholders and the public about these opportunities for consultations. Until the City has satisfied the federal departments and agency requirements of the DIA, the City's technical teams will continue to do their investigations, analysis and make recommendations to satisfy permitting requirements.
Will the public be consulted on the environmental work between the City and federal departments?
Yes, once the DIA is posted on a public-facing website. 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 project team is needed before the DIA process can be finalized since the construction methodology hasn't been fully explored at this time.
The DIA document, it will be posted to the City 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.
Benefiting local community
Will there be local workers on this project and will local businesses benefit from the project?
Yes. The city encourages local workers to be employed on all its infrastructure projects including the Third Crossing. The project team is encouraging preference for he use of goods and services of local businesses as part of its economic development and sustainability initiatives.
What are the benefit 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.
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 consider 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. The Third Crossing Business Plan 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.
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.
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 2013). This was included in Phase One 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 regulatory requirement selected by Parks Canada for the project. The DIA includes the project team drafting a comprehensive report 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.
The draft report is required by Parks Canada to be posted for 30 days for public comment. 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.
City Official Plan
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.
Integrated Project Deliver Model
What is an IPD model the why is the City is using it for this project?
An IPD model has proven to be effective in achieving mutual goals between a consultant and the contractor team and a client team for infrastructure projects, such as sharing the responsibility and the savings benefits through a more robust collaborative approach. The project team sets goals together at the project's outset; they share information and accept their respective responsibilities as equals. They share the financial risk and reward as an integrated team all working together in one ‘big room' concept to keep costs low and deliver best-in-class projects on-time. Based on the city's review of procurement alternatives and benefits during the business case phase, the innovation of an IPD model stood above other options because it allows for the technical validation, detailed and final design, and construction to be seamlessly wrapped into one project model using a less adversarial contract and delivery approach. This proven-effective collaborative IPD model allowed other government projects to provide its communities with more efficient infrastructure delivery overall.
The City is the first in Canada to use an Integrated Project Delivery model for building a bridge. The city will also become one of the Canadian front-runners adopting the successful IPD model based on proven success on other infrastructure projects in North America.