Construction, dredging, and a new ferry terminal and boat are on their way for anyone crossing to Wolfe Island — and the work could begin this fall. In doing so, downtown Kingston bids farewell to a waterfront parking lot, a gas station and the Ontario Street Tim Hortons location.
Speaking to Kingston City Council on Tuesday, Jul. 9, 2019, Tina White, a Senior Project Manager with the Ministry of Transportation, gave a briefing to council about the upcoming changes and showed off the renders of the new facility.
A four-stage construction schedule is being used for the project, with an increase in construction activity and in-water work beginning on the Marysville, Wolfe Island side of the crossing as early as this fall. Work on the Kingston dock is expected to begin in early 2020 by expanding the southern footprint of the existing dock and constructing a berth on the southern side. Its during this phase that the existing gas station and Tim Hortons are to be demolished.
During the second phase, the ferry will continue with its current loading ramp while the central portion of the new dock is used. The former gas station site will be used as a marshalling area at night, enabling work to continue 24 hours per day as needed.
Phase three will change where the ferry docks, making use of the new southern loading berth for ferry service and creating temporary shelter for pedestrians and cyclists as the existing building is demolished. The northern loading ramp will be constructed. Traffic will be moved to exit onto Queen Street, with the existing entrance being maintained.
Finally, the new building will be completed, landscaping wrapped up and the traffic reconfigured a last time — vehicles will enter through Queen Street and exit along either Tragically Hip Way or Queen Street.
As part of the work, 14,000 dump trucks of soil and sediment is expected to be dredged from the harbour to lower the riverbed. Contaminated material will be disposed of at an appropriate facility, though the Ministry is continuing to research the possibility of open water relocation of non-contaminated materials.
It is anticipated that construction will be completed in early 2024. A new ferry, which will be fully electric, was confirmed by the province in 2018 and will begin operation amidst the construction in early 2021.