PSPC to host information session ahead rescheduled LaSalle Causeway Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation Project

The bascule bridge of the LaSalle Causeway. Photo by Lucas Mulder/Kingstonist.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the federal organization that oversees the maintenance and operations of the LaSalle Causeway, will be hosting a public information session this week.

Taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, the information session is meant to provide the public with information on the LaSalle Causeway Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation Project, and will include an overview of the project, the project schedule, and project completion plans.

Originally slated to take place in late 2022 and early 2023, the Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation Project was previously delayed. In November 2022, Kingstonist reported on the postponement of the work, which was a direct result of no companies submitting bids on the construction tender for the project. At the time, PSPC said they expected to re-tender the construction contract in early 2023, with the work expected to take place in the traditional off-season from November 2023 to the end of April 2024.

A bascule bridge, sometimes referred to as a lift bridge, is a bridge that utilizes a moving section, which is lifted to allow marine traffic to pass through using a counterweight. The LaSalle Causeway Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation Project is meant to “strengthen and replace various components” of the bascule bridge section of the Causeway, according to PSPC, and will address:

  • Bridge deck replacement
  • Trunnion (pivot point) steel rehabilitation
  • Counterweight rehabilitation

’Trunnion’ is a French word for ‘pivot point,’ and ‘bascule’ is a French word for ‘see-saw.’

“A trunnion describes the type of bridge that pivots like a see-saw around a central core. This is a key operational component of the bridge that requires regular scheduled overhauls to ensure ongoing unimpeded operations,” PSPC explained.

“Bascule bridges are fitted with counterweights. These offset the weight of the span, which facilitates the raising and lowering of the bridge. Inspections of the counterweight system indicate that repairs and renovations are required to maintain ongoing health and safety standards for pedestrians, and public and commercial traffic on the bridge.”

The bascule bridge of the LaSalle Causeway lifted to allow marine traffic to cross. Kingstonist file photo.

Construction for the project, which is intended to “extend the service life” of the bridge components “by another 30 years,” remains scheduled to take place from November 2023 to the end of April 2024, and then again in the following offseason.

“Limited bridge closures will be essential to complete the required construction work,” PSPC said.

During construction, the federal organization said, the following traffic adjustments will occur are expected:

  • marine traffic will not be able to navigate under the Bascule Bridge for the duration of the two construction periods during the traditional off-seasons
  • pedestrians and cyclists will be able to continue using the bridge via a temporary sidewalk constructed alongside the existing bridge, but periodic closures are still expected
  • limited full closures and alternating single-lane closures will take place throughout the two construction periods

PSPC said that public notices regarding the closures will be issued in advance.

Those wanting to find out more about the project before construction is underway can attend the PSPC information session on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2023, beginning at 6 p.m. The information session will be virtual, and those wanting to attend are asked to send an email to “the Real Property team” at [email protected].

More detailed information on the LaSalle Causeway Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation Project can be found on the PSPC website.

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