As many commuters probably noticed this week, the section of John Counter Boulevard between Princess Street and Portsmouth Avenue was closed for construction. The construction this week, and more to come over the next few years, will be well worth the occasional traffic detour as we move towards the completion of a widened road with an overpass over the rail tracks. This road investment will make it easier and faster to get from one side of the city to the other. So, while construction delays are never enjoyable, I like to think of it as short term pain for long term gain!
Here’s a picture of what the new road and overpass will look like. As you can see, it will veer north from its current location and then extend over the wetlands and the railroad tracks.
Approval of this final phase of the John Counter Boulevard (JCB) widening was one of the first major budget decisions of the new council, not only because it’s an important project itself, but also because it sets the table for another bridge further east – the Third Crossing across the Cataraqui River. The Third Crossing will connect the east end of JCB to Gore Road in the east end of the city. Once the JCB overpass and the Third Crossing are built, the city will have a single traffic corridor extending from one side of the city to the other. This will reduce travel times for commuters in both the east end and the west end of our city, it will alleviate traffic problems in the downtown and it will facilitate renewal and redevelopment in the north end. A win-win-win in my books!