On Third Crossings and Other Mythical Beasts

Kingston third crossing

The other day I attended an information session regarding the environmental assessment associated with a proposed thoroughfare that will better connect the eastern and western realms of Kingston. Truth be told, I was expecting a formal presentation with a Q&A session, however such formalities are rather premature at this early stage in the game. Of course that seems to be the story of the oft sighted, but rarely captured, third crossing.

Periodically over the last several decades, various Lords, Mayors, and other worthies have dangled the concept of a new bridge in front of the citizens of Pittsburgh Township.  As you well know, previous attempts to realize a new crossing have gone nowhere, and relegated the elusive beast to the realm of conjecture.  What seems to be lacking is the community’s willpower.

Like many other Kingstonians, I have numerous questions and concerns about this project.  A short list is as follows:

  • How much will taxpayers have to contribute to fund the third crossing?
  • Will the development of a new bridge hinder the upkeep of the LaSalle Causeway, and other roads that are in dire need of repair (Brock, Princess etc…)?
  • How many design options are City officials currently considering, and what are they?
  • Who gets to rank the final proposals, and ultimately make a decision?
  • Will regular Kingstonians get an honest chance to weigh in?

Are any of these questions worth discussing, or is the issue of a third crossing out of our hands?

Cross posted at juniorannex.  Thanks and credit to szlea for the photo accompanying this post.

4 thoughts on “On Third Crossings and Other Mythical Beasts

  • Typically, these processes need to go through some form of public consultation, such as that dictated by the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Municipal Engineers Association). The size and potential environmental impact of the project will dictate the degree of public consultation required. For a project of this magnitude, I would expect a full blown Schedule ‘C’ Class EA.

    Anyway, this indirectly answers your questions 3-5, IF the environmental assessment is following this protocol. Typically, public information centres will be held at various stages through the study, the first being to identify the “problem statement”, then progressing through to presentation of the alternatives. So, you likely will have the chance to view alternatives and comment on them. A large public contingent against a particular alternative would likely be taken into consideration, but that all depends on who is running the show. The big thing is getting public to attend and take interest.

  • I’m pushing for a three lane bridge, similar to the one that connects Halifax and Darthmouth. In that case, the direction of the middle lane can be switched during peak hours (ie morning and evening rush hour), thereby providing two lanes in the busier direction, and one going going the other way. I think that sort of thing would lend itself better than two two lane configuration, and it would be less expensive than four lanes.

  • Harvey, given that this is Kingston, that will never happen. Heck, the third crossing has been an identified need for more than 100 years.

    I was born here and have grown accustomed to certain projects jumping into the public eye periodically, then gradually fading away. The bridge is one of them. Mind you, so was Block D and something finally happened. But, it keeping with Kingston politics, it’s a throw-back to old waterfront projects and yet another nail in the coffin of the mythical downtown building height limitation.

  • Like tens of thousands of people in Pittsburgh Township and points East, Northeast, and North, I’m looking forward to the third crossing.

    The main reason for me (and for many others, I presume): to never, ever again be forced to shop downtown or deal with the ridiculous light-at-every-corner-even-at-off-peak-times traffic we find there.

    The crossing will turn a 20-minute excursion to shopping in the West-end into a 10-minute excursion. Bring it on! And seriously: screw Springerville.

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