For many years, there has been discussion 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 Lasalle Causeway – neither is owned by the City.

In 2013, an environmental assessment was finished to determine:

  • The need for a third crossing
  • The impacts a third crossing could have on the natural, social and economic environments
  • The best location for the bridge
  • The bridge design concept (Arch with V-Piers)

Frequently asked questions

The most commonly asked questions about the Third Crossing will be posted to the FAQ page over time.

Benefits of a third crossing

The environmental assessment found benefits of a bridge would be to:

  • Increase travel time savings while reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Decrease traffic congestion along the Lasalle Causeway
  • Provide additional access to the east end of the city for emergency vehicles and City services
  • Provide an alternative route during Lasalle Causeway closures
  • Provide an opportunity for active transportation with a multi-use trail
  • Accommodate future growth
  • Enhance the Rideau Canal


The environmental assessment studied a range of factors affecting location including: neighbourhoods, marine life, plants and wildlife, shorelines, noise, watercraft navigation, intersection with other transportation routes and more. 

Based on its findings, the best location for a bridge is a link between Gore Road and John Counter Boulevard.


There are four key phases of the project.

  • Phase I - The environmental assessment.
  • Phase II - The preliminary design phase – began in February 2016.
  • Phase III - Developing a business plan is the third phase and overlaps with phase II.
  • Phase IV - This plan will be developed if council directs staff to move forward with the project.


Construction costs for the proposed bridge are estimated at $120 million plus tax (2011 dollars) for a two-lane crossing with an accessible, multi-use trail for active transportation. 

Due to the significant capital costs associated with the Third Crossing, provincial and federal government grant funding has been identified as a major component of the anticipated funding for the overall project.

The cost estimate will be refined as the city progresses through the Third Crossing Action Plan.

Read more information on Cost-benefit analysis.

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