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DND to resume structural work on Fort Frontenac wall

The exterior wall at Fort Frontenac where a pedestrian walkway will be installed beginning Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Photo by Phillip Stafford.

Residents can expect to see a pedestrian walkway put in place along Ontario Street once again as work resumes on the wall at Fort Frontenac.

The sidewalk along Ontario Street adjacent to the limestone wall at the Fort was initially closed on Friday, Apr. 12, 2019 for public safety due to the structural integrity of the wall. Following that, work to put a pedestrian walkway was put in place began on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, and the walkway remained in place for much of 2019 into the winter months.

The closed sidewalks and entrance to Fort Frontenac in April 2019. Photo by Phillip Stafford.

According to the City of Kingston, the Department of National Defence (DND) will begin installing a pedestrian walkway and other traffic control measures on Ontario Street from The Tragically Hip Way to Place d’Armes next week. The installation of these traffic control measures are tentatively scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 7 p.m., and are expected to be in place by 6 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Those dates may be adjusted depending on the weather, the City said in a press release on Thursday, May 14, 2020. Kingston Police will be on site to control traffic while the walkway is being erected.

The pedestrian walkway is needed while the DND completes the structural work to the Fort Frontenac Wall. The walkway is expected to be in place until late 2020, and the total cost for the project is estimated at $4 million to $5 million, which will be paid for by DND. In 2019, DND said the work on the wall could take up to three years to complete.

According to the City, two-way traffic will be maintained on Ontario Street at all time, and the traffic control plan that will be put in includes the following:

  • The existing northbound lane on Ontario Street will be closed from Tragically Hip Way to Place d’Armes to create a pedestrian walkway, and northbound traffic will be shifted into one of the existing southbound lanes through this area.
  • The sidewalk along the east side of Ontario Street from Tragically Hip Way to Place d’Armes will be closed.
  • The new temporary walkway will be separated from vehicle traffic by concrete barriers, and an accessible pedestrian ramp will be created north of Place d’Armes that will connect the temporary pedestrian walkway with the existing sidewalk there.
  • The north crosswalk at Tragically Hip Way and Ontario Street will be closed.
  • Semi-trucks will be prohibited from making left-hand turns from The Tragically Hip Way onto Ontario Street or right-hand turns from the Wolfe Island Ferry terminal onto Ontario Street, due to the temporary lane adjustments on Ontario Street.
  • Signage and new road markings will be put into place to guide vehicles and pedestrians through the construction zone.
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