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Federal government exploring options to resume marine traffic amid LaSalle Causeway closure

The LaSalle Causeway, including the Bascule Bridge, from the top. (Government of Canada)
The LaSalle Causeway, including the Bascule Bridge, from the top. (Government of Canada)

The federal government says it is looking at two options to get ships moving while the LaSalle Causeway in Kingston is undergoing repairs.

The federally-owned bridge spans the Great Cataraqui River where it meets the St. Lawrence River. It connects drivers and pedestrians in the east end of Kingston to downtown, but it was damaged during routine construction on March 30. The long-term closure has prevented several vessels on the Cataraqui side from accessing the St. Lawrence.

In an update Friday, Public Services and Procurement Canada said repairs are expected to take seven to nine weeks to complete, but it is looking at ways to help get marine traffic moving.

"PSPC is also exploring two other options to enable marine navigation. These include the removal of a span on the East Bridge of the LaSalle Causeway or the removal of the Bascule Bridge, should unforeseen circumstances significantly hinder or delay the ongoing repair work," PSPC said.

Cruise ship companies who operate in the area have said the closure of the bridge has delayed their ability to launch ships. Some had proposed a plan that would involve a one-time temporary removal of a concrete section of the bridge to allow the ships to pass through once. They have also asked for compensation for lost revenue as a result of the delays to marine traffic.

The government says work on the Bascule Bridge, which is part of the Causeway, is underway and is making progress.

"Based on our current estimates, repairing the Bascule Bridge through a phased approach offers the fastest resumption of traffic for pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles and marine traffic," PSPC said. "Plans are also progressing to enable safe pedestrian access while the repair work is ongoing." Top Stories

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