It’s a 180 million dollar bridge project taking traffic away from the downtown core.
But downtown business owners don’t mind at all…. and give the third crossing the thumbs up.
Martin Sherris/CEO, Kingston Chamber of Commerce:
“The bridge will benefit all business in Kingston, and downtown businesses are not so worried about redirecting traffic from the
core… They want the pedestrian traffic, and as we saw this summer, that is going to be more difficult as we have more congestion.”
Downtown Kingston’s Business Improvement Area and the Chamber of Commerce met with city officials to hear more details about the bridge — linking John Counter Blvd and Gore Road — and its impact on local business.
Bryan Paterson/ Mayor, City of Kingston:
“We thought that there were lots of great questions, both to myself and to our director of engineering, on a whole host of details.
Everything from the design of the bridge to the financial plan… and how we are going to build it without a property tax rate interest… to some of the benefits.”
The main concern for businesses, is when one of the 2 existing bridge crossings are closed.
Either detouring drivers away from the core … or bringing all of 401 traffic across the causeway.. including transports and dangerous materials.
“For emergency services that can be a half hour or more run… that’s not only not nice to have to deal with… it could be unsafe.”
“I did speak with one business owner following the meeting, and he says he can’t find one reason why the bridge shouldn’t be built, and says it will benefit residents in both the west end, and east end, of the city.”
Tarek Hussein/ Business Owner:
“The businesses would definitely be thriving more on both sides, especially if you look at the west side right now. That area needs a lot of development, and it’s under the city microscope to develop it.. that north end.
But also, what is striking, I heard several people talking about people who are living in the north end can cross the bridge and walk and have chances to work on the east side, especially in the St. Lawrence Business Park… which is something that is really significant.”
City council will hold a special meeting June 13th go over a raft of new studies outlining the financial details, bridge design and cost benefits of the crossing… before deciding whether to built it.
Callie Warren, CKWS News, Kingston