Update: Environmental Assessment is now complete
On June 20, 2013, the Ministry of the Environment let the City know that the Provincial Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study Report on a potential Third Crossing of the Cataraqui River has been officially accepted following the completion of the Part II Order Process.
On July 9, 2013, the City's Environment, Infrastructure & Transportation Policies Committee recommended that the completed EA be forwarded to Council to mark the completion of the EA process and signal that this potential project is prepared for further consideration.
Those interested in the EA process may wish to review the July 10, 2012 Information Report to the Environment, Infrastructure & Transportation Policies Committee about the Part II Order Process – Third Crossing Environmental Assessment.
A February 19, 2013 Report to Council about the City's Third Crossing – Action Plan outlined a four-phase course of action, including time and capital budget requirements in order to position the potential Third Crossing to be ready for construction. The phases include:
- Update to the Kingston Transportation Master Plan (KTMP) and Development Charges Bylaw. Council approved budget for these updates which are scheduled for completion in 2014.
- Preliminary design and cost estimates.
- Preparation of a financial plan
- Detailed design and cost estimates.
The capital budget funding for the completion of the Third Crossing Environmental Assessment has been expended. Capital funds are not approved for the work described in Phases 2, 3 & 4.
Overview of proposed project
Construction costs for this proposed project (2011) ranged from $120 million (plus HST) for a two lane crossing to $200 million for a four lane crossing. If the project is undertaken, the City would examine a full range of funding options. The chosen concept for the bridge — a link between the base of Gore Road and John Counter Boulevard — is shown on this page
There are now two crossings of the Cataraqui River in Kingston:
- The La Salle Causeway on Highway 2 where the Cataraqui River meets Lake Ontario.
- The Highway 401 crossing approximately 6 km upstream of the La Salle Causeway.
Studies dating back to 1964 have recognized the need for a third crossing of the Cataraqui River in the City in order to:
- Relieve traffic congestion on the La Salle Causeway during rush hour times and when Highway 401 is closed.
- Improve access to areas of the City on both sides of the Cataraqui River.
- Enhance routes for the delivery of emergency services in the City.
This need was most recently affirmed in a 2009 update to the Kingston Transportation Master Plan. A further update to the KTMP is scheduled for completion by late 2014.
For more detail on the EA for the Third Crossing see the EA Study Report and document library and FAQ page. Those interested in this process may also be interested in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.