It’s been a long time in the making, but Kingston’s John Counter Boulevard bridge has been given an expected date of completion, set for 18 months from now.
At a meeting held on July 18 at the Ambassador Hotel in Kingston, R.W. Tomlinson Ltd. and Kingston city staff answered questions and concerns from local businesses, and outlined steps ahead.
Phase 5b of the project, construction of the bridge, has begun now that the embankment is built and settled, and the team estimates it will be completed by 2021. The steel for the bridge is expected to be delivered before the end of 2019.
Planning for the John Counter Boulevard bridge has been going on for over a decade. An environmental assessment for the project was originally completed in 2006. Changes have since been made to that narrowed the bridge, leaving room for pedestrian access on only one side of the structure. There will be bike and vehicle traffic lanes in both directions on the bridge.
John Counter Boulevard is a major east-west arterial route that stretches from the Cataraqui River to Princess Street. Widening of the roadway began in 2012 in a five-phase plan.
The remaining phase, stretching from Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard to Princess Street, involves the re-alignment and widening of John Counter and the construction of the bridge over the rail line. It will feature a new entrance to the VIA station and two new sets of traffic lights at intersections with Old Mill and Portsmouth.
The entire project carries a cost of $63 million.
The steel for the bridge is expected to be delivered by the end of this year and most of the work completed mid-year 2020.