The alternating lane reductions that have slowed traffic across the LaSalle Causeway since they began on Monday, Apr. 4, 2022, will now continue longer than anticipated.
Originally scheduled to last from the first Monday in April until Tuesday, May 31, 2022, the lane reductions were put in place to allow for maintenance work. However, according to Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the federal agency responsible for the government’s internal servicing and administration which oversees the LaSalle Causeway, the work has now been extended. This is due to strike action which has occurred or is occurring and which is impacting suppliers, the federal agency said in a press release on Tuesday, Jun. 14, 2022.
“There is a delay in the completion of the project due to concrete and asphalt suppliers experiencing strikes at their facilities as part of the Ontario-wide strike action in the construction industry,” PSPC said.
The repair work and subsequent alternating lane reductions will now continue until Friday, Jun. 24, 2022.
“There will be two flagpersons on site to direct traffic during rush hour, as well as a temporary sidewalk detour to ensure access to pedestrians and cyclists,” PSPC said.
“PSPC encourages users to exercise caution when travelling on the bridge and thanks them for their patience.”
The lengthy repair work and the resulting traffic reductions have already been a sore spot for the many Kingstonians who traverse the Causeway daily, particularly as construction of the Third Crossing – to be named the Waaban Crossing when it opens – is nearing completion. When finished, the Third Crossing will be an alternative means for travelling to and from Kingston’s east end, which is currently accessed mainly through Highway 401 and the LaSalle Causeway. The new bridge is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2022, and is reportedly both on schedule and on budget, Mayor Bryan Paterson recently confirmed during a video Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Kingstonist.
Those who find the alternating lane closures on the LaSalle Causeway problematic will certainly be pleased to hear that confirmation from the Mayor, as more work is scheduled to occur on the bridge in the coming months.
The LaSalle Causeway Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation Project, the contract for which was awarded this month, according to PSPC, will lead to further closures of the ‘noisy bridges’ that cross the Cataraqui River.
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 bascule bridge section of the LaSalle Causeway will be the focus of the upcoming project, according to PSPC, who are “undertaking a project to strengthen and replace various components” of the bascule bridge.
The project will address the following elements, according to PSPC:
- bridge deck replacement
- trunnion bearing rehabilitation
- counterweight rehabilitation
“‘Trunnion’ is a French word for ‘pivot point,’” PSPC clarified. “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 further explained that their inspections of the counterweight system of the bridge “indicate that repairs and renovations are required to maintain ongoing health and safety standards for pedestrians, and public and commercial traffic on the bridge.”
“This project will extend the service life of each of the components by another 30 years. It will improve the condition and operations of the bascule bridge, and ensure the safety of bridge users,” PSPC said.
The project is scheduled to begin in November 2022, and will result in traffic reductions and complete closures of the bridge.
“The construction is being scheduled for the traditional off season, November 2022 to the end of April 2023. Bridge closures will be essential during construction to complete the required work,” PSPC said.
The federal agency stated that, during the construction work, the following traffic adjustments are expected:
- Marine traffic will not be able to navigate under the Bascule Bridge for the entire duration of the project (November 2022 to the end of April 2023)
- On weekdays, vehicular traffic will still be able to access the bridge using alternating lanes
- On weekends, the bridge will be fully closed to vehicular traffic
- 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
“Public notices about the closures will be issued in advance and shared through our social media channels. This will ensure that the public is aware of each closure and its impact on local traffic. The same information will be distributed to stakeholders for further broadcasting,” PSPC said.
The construction project is scheduled to be complete in April 2023, with the LaSalle Causeway fully operational again by May 2023.
Kingstonist will continue to monitor the ongoing and future projects on the LaSalle Causeway, and provide updates and notice of traffic changes as more information becomes available.
For more information on the LaSalle Causeway, its history, maintenance, and the Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation Project, visit the PSPC LaSalle Causeway webpage.