LaSalle Causeway closed ‘until further notice’ after ‘incident’ damages bridge

Crews stand at the west end of the LaSalle Causeway, which is entirely closed to traffic, on Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2024. The bridge was closed after “an incident” occurred during repair work, according to Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). Photo by Aerosnapper Kingston.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published on Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2024, at 4:07 p.m. Please see bottom of article for most recently updated information.

After the LaSalle Causeway was suddenly closed to all traffic – including pedestrians and cyclists – the federal agency that oversees the operations and maintenance of the bridge has issued an update on the matter.

The LaSalle Causeway was closed to all traffic around noon on Sunday, Mar. 31, 2024, during a time that was already planned to see reduced traffic on the bridge as ongoing maintenance work was being carried out. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the federal agency that manages the LaSalle Causeway, later confirmed to Kingstonist that the complete closure was not planned, but instead the result of “an incident.”

Following up on the matter today, Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2024, PSPC did not provide much in the away of further explanation of the “incident.”

“An incident on the Bascule Bridge occurred on Saturday, March 30, at approximately 5 pm, whereby an element of the bridge was compromised during construction. No one was injured or harmed as a result of this incident,” PSPC said in a press release issued at around 3:40 p.m. today.

In the release, PSPC advises that the bridge will remain closed entirely “until further notice,” a daunting statement in the face of the influx of approximately 500,000 people the City of Kingston says will be coming to Kingston for the total solar eclipse on Monday, Apr. 8, 2024.

“Traffic barriers and fencing are in place, and traffic personnel is stationed at both ends to prevent all public access to the bridge,” the statement reads, advising “all motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles to use the Waaban Crossing,” and noting that detour signage is in place.

It should be noted that today, Monday, Apr. 2, 2024, traffic was backed up on several occasions on the Waaban Crossing.

Traffic on the Waaban Crossing in the early afternoon of Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2024. Photo by Aerosnapper Kingston.

“PSPC is working on a solution to stabilize the bridge and repair the damaged element,” the statement continues.

“The estimated time for repair is currently unknown. A complete assessment of the damage to the structure is needed and can only be undertaken once the affected element can be adequately supported.”

The federal agency said it will “provide more information once available,” noting that PSPC “encourages users to consult our public notices and our social media channels for updates.”

Kingstonist has further inquired with PSPC as to which element of the bridge has been damaged and how. No response was received by time of publication. Updated coverage will be provided as more information becomes available.


UPDATE (Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2024, at 11:30 a.m.):

In response to Kingstonist inquiries as to which “element” of the bride was damaged during the work that took place on Saturday, Mar. 30, 2024, as well as how that damage occurred, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) provided little detail.

“Crews are still determining the impact of the incident on the bridge,” said Jeremy Link, a Media Relations representative for PSPC, in an email to Kingstonist.

“Once this assessment is completed we will continue to provide as much information as possible.”

3 thoughts on “LaSalle Causeway closed ‘until further notice’ after ‘incident’ damages bridge

  • The mayor is responsible for this city , he needs to answer these questions, not his regular answer, this is a federal issue, no it’s the city that needs to say what happened and like the ferry situation, what is the city doing to get answers and solutions?

  • Good old PSPC. Tight-lipped as ever. Someone messed up and “broke it good.”
    How about a Bailey Bridge to provide a temporary crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, at least?

  • The matter is both complex and yet relatively simple.
    That there are multiple jurisdictions (The City, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)) afford ample opportunity to avoid accountability.
    What is lacking is strong leadership committeed to consulting and co-ordinating the parties towards a timely and effective solution.Given that the constituency most impacted is the citizenry, the most reasonable and practical leadership role must fall upon the shoulders of Mayor Bryan Paterson. We look to his rising to the challenge and accepting the leadership role and, of course, the attendant accountabilty in serving his constituents.

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