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LaSalle Causeway demolition underway with June 30 target date to resume marine traffic

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Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) says demolition of the LaSalle Causeway in Kingston, Ont. is underway, and the federal government is targeting the end of June for the resumption of marine traffic.

"Some of the timelines, they've shifted," said Stefan Dery, the Director General for PSPC. "But that's been part and parcel due to decisions that we've taken."

The bridge, which connects the east end of Kingston to downtown, was damaged during construction on March 30. It has been closed since then, as PSPC attempted to make repairs. On May 29, two months later, they determined demolition was the best course of action.

On Friday, federal officials were on the hot seat as residents and business owners voiced their concerns.

"Coming today and not having any new information about what solutions would be in place after the demolition of the existing causeway, that's what's disappointing. We want to know what that temporary structure will look like," said Krista LeClair, the Executive Director of Kingston Accommodation Partners.

The only timeline PSPC provided Friday was the potential resumption of marine traffic by June 30. There is no confirmation on what type of bridge will replace the Causeway, or when residents can expect a re-opening.

"It's a very fluid situation, right?" Dery said. "Originally our intent was to progress with the repair of the bridge."

Some businesses impacted by the Causeway's ongoing closure suggested PSPC cover their revenue losses, but Dery said they are not in a position to commit to reimbursement.

PSPC also declined to elaborate on the circumstances that led to the damage on March 30. 

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