LaSalle Causeway may face more closures

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

KINGSTON – Up to 28 thousand vehicles cross the LaSalle Causeway on a daily basis.
During rush hour — traffic is constant through the main east-west traffic artery connecting downtown Kingston to Kingston’s east end.
“It’s always packed around rush hour.”
And to make matters worse, closures and lane reductions cut off a key route, sending motorists to the 401 and causing traffic gridlock in downtown Kingston.
Now the city has been told it may happen more often as the federal government works to maintain the aging crossing, built back in 1916.
Jim Neill/City Councillor:
“It’s not surprising that there are clearly safety issues and issues to try to keep it functional.”
According to an information report presented to council, there may be several closures over the next few years.
Bryan Paterson/Kingston Mayor:
“We’re looking at more closures. More substantial closures and so that’s a big issue. That’s something we need to be aware of and start planning for now.”
Possible closures in 2017 and 2018 could include overnight or daytime closures or longer closures of 24 to 48 hours over periods of 3 days to 15 days.
Not good news for motorists.
“It’s definitely going to cause a lot of disruption in the downtown core.”
“Back and forth from in town to over own you have to cut all the way through Montreal Street and go around. It’s not the worst — it’s just a huge inconvenience.”
While the report made no mention of the proposed Third Crossing — it certainly bolsters the argument for pushing ahead with the over one hundred million dollar bridge, according to the Mayor.
“So when we’re looking at the Third Crossing — knowing that the La Salle Causeway is aging. Knowing that it’s going to need an increasing amount of repair and maintenance, I think that is a real consideration for why we need another crossing.”
The federal government owns and maintains the LaSalle Causeway and says the upcoming repairs are needed for things like motor controls and structural and grating repairs.
Officials say the work is in the early planning stages so nothing is set in stone as of yet.
Staff say regardless, they will do their best to minimize impacts on marine traffic, vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

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