This week City Council awarded the contract for the preliminary design work for the Third Crossing, which is a critical step to getting the proposed bridge shovel ready. This decision has sparked renewed conversation about the project and I am happy to see Kingstonians getting engaged. In light of the community buzz, here are my thoughts on why the Third Crossing is both critically important and achievable for Kingston.
North End Revitalization
First, and perhaps most importantly, the Third Crossing will aid in the revitalization of the north end of the city by creating a transportation corridor to connect the north end with the east end. This corridor will bring more activity to the north end and unlock its enormous redevelopment potential. In this way, the Third Crossing will encourage intensification and redevelopment inside the city core which makes sense environmentally and financially.
Second, the Third Crossing will make it easier for cars, bicycles, buses, and pedestrians to get from one side of our city to the other. This in turn will ease traffic congestion in the downtown, improve emergency response times and provide a detour route for Hwy 401, avoiding the creation of traffic chaos in the city core.
The funding for the Third Crossing will be shared by all three levels of government, requiring partnership to share the estimated $120M price tag. The city’s $40M share is entirely manageable and has already been included in the city’s financial plans for the future. When put into context, this $40M investment actually comes in significantly lower than other recent infrastructure spending such as the $80M approved for the widening of John Counter Boulevard and $85M for a new waste-water treatment plant. It’s also important to note that only half of the city’s share will come from taxpayers, with the other half paid by developers through the collection of development charges.
As we move ahead making the Third Crossing shovel ready, I look forward to continued discussions with both the provincial and federal governments on the importance of their partnership on the Third Crossing project. I am very pleased to have both MPP Sophie Kiwala and MP Mark Gerretsen advocating for us on this file. The Third Crossing aligns with the vision to be a smart and livable city. After many years of discussion and debate, it’s time to get this bridge built for the advancement of our community.
For more information on the Third Crossing please visit the City of Kingston website at www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/projects-construction/third-crossing