This week, Kingston's EITP Committee heard from Parks Canada that work will be done to replace and improve the two bridges at Kingston Mills Locks This work is anticipated to take several months to complete, and at the moment, is scheduled to start in July.
This means many months of detours via the 401 for local residents. The City of Kingston, Parks Canada, and myself are committed to keeping that timeline as short as possible. At the end of this work, our community will benefit from important safety improvements to the road infrastructure, and additional enhancements to the Kingston Mills Locks site.
Parks Canada undertook an options assessment to determine whether it would be possible to to expand the capacity of the fixed bridge to two lanes. It was determined that due to the physical constraints of the site, and in order to preserve the critical heritage features of the site, none of the proposed expansion options would be practical. While there have been comments from some residents who are concerned about this, the nature of this historic, heritage site must be preserved. This will also ensure safe movement of vehicles and provide protection to pedestrians who are enjoying the site during the summer.
Here is a summary of the work being done from Parks Canada:
While interim repairs were made to the fixed bridge in 2012, a replacement is required at this time. The new concrete bridge will be a single-lane structure with improved safety features. The new bridge will have an 80-year life span.
The existing Kingston Mills swing bridge requires rehabilitation. This work will include repairs to the structural steel and the east abutment of the bridge.
Specific studies related to cultural resource management, road safety and cost support the direction of these bridge projects. This infrastructure work is in keeping with the commemorative integrity and the outstanding universal value of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The two bridge projects will follow the completion of the work already underway on the historic stone arch dam at Kingston Mills. This project involves masonry repairs and the resurfacing ofthe concrete cap on the arch dam,which is an original feature of the site constructed in the late 1830s. This project is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2016.