Third Crossing will cost $60 million more

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

The studies are in and so are these new pictures. There are significant changes to the third bridge crossing starting with the price. It has ballooned from the initial 120 -million dollar estimate  to 180 million dollars.

Mark Van Buren, Director of Engineering:
“So a large part of that cost increase from the original 120 million dollars that we had projected in year 2011 is largely related to construction price inflation over that 8 year period of time.”

Another factor is the way the bridge is built. Instead of using barges, the Third Crossing will now be built using a temporary work bridge which adds on another 20 million dollars to the price tag.

Mark Van Buren, Director of Engineering:
“A temporary work bridge offers us that opportunity to make sure that we can maximize the protection of the wetland environment.”

There are also changes to the bridge design to promote active transportation . A 4 metre wide dedicated lane for cyclists and pedestrians, expanding to 9 metres at the main bridge arch…. offering users a scenic lookout.

So how does Kingston intend to pay for the crossing? Well, it’s relying on the one-third funding formula. The city will pay 60 million, officials stressing their share won’t mean higher property taxes.  And they hope the feds and province each contribute 60 million as well.  The question is — will they chip in?
Mark Gerretsen: MP, Kingston & The Islands
“There are opportunities to apply for money based on different grant programs that exist and funding opportunities that exist and to date I have had a number of conversations but we’ve never been able to submit anything formally yet because the city hasn’t actually made that decision.”

Right now, the city is hoping to start construction in 2019. But it all depends on funding, community and political support. The studies will be the focus of two open houses next week before it all floats to council for a final vote in June.
Jonna Semple, CKWS News, Kingston

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