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Mayor Quaiff concerned about repair timelines to three bridges to the County

With economic impact and concerns for commuters at the forefront, Prince Edward County, Mayor Robert Quaiff is seeking clarification from the Ministry of Transportation on timelines for repairs to three major bridges to and from the County.

Late last month the ministry announced rehabilitation work for the Norris Whitney Bridge at Belleville. Pavement core testing is to begin (overnight) next Tuesday. Consultation is already under way for the Skyway Bridge connecting the County at Tyendinaga and the work on the Murray Canal Swing Bridge at Brighton is slated for spring of 2018.

In correspondences with the MTO’s Glen Higgins, Quaiff expressed specific concern about closures with the bridge at Belleville, “most definitely our main artery in and out of the County” and wants to ensure there will not be overlapping construction timelines which he pointed out would have a dramatic impact on travel in and out of Prince Edward County.

“A bridge closure would mean hundreds of extra kilometres each week in detours for every commuter vehicle,” he said. “It could also deter both tourists and visits to the County which would have a huge impact on our retail and tourist economy,” said Quaiff.

Higgins, in an email, said Belleville’s 30-year-old bridge has an expected lifespan of 75 years but requires periodic rehabilitation.

“The Norris Whitney Bridge carries a high volume of traffic and the ministry currently restricts the time period for any work that closes lanes on the bridge to night time hours, so that impacts to traffic are limited,” said Higgins.

He said the ministry is conducting data collection and traffic analysis to determine timing and extent of work. Public and stakeholder consultation will be held if any single lane closures are needed during the day.
The rehabilitation on the Norris Whitney Bridge which includes shorter duration repair work than the Skyway Bridge, began the design process in 2015. A second project was initiated in 2016 to evaluate the longer-term future needs on the bridge.

Quaiff specificially was looking for information related to commuter delays, economic and environmental impacts of the work “especially in a situation where there are not many options for alternate routes.” (The swing bridge at Trenton, and the ferry at Glenora being the only others).

Higgins said the ministry is designing the Bay of Quinte Skyway on Highway 49 and the Norris Whitney Bridge on Highway 62 and are coordinating the work to ensure the impacts to traffic are considered.

“The ministry is also coordinating with the City of Belleville for the completion of their work on the Canadian Pacific bridge and at the Dundas Street intersection. Exact timing is still being worked out, however we anticipate construction starting on the Highway 49 and Highway 62 bridges within the five-year window.

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  1. Paul says:

    Repair and or replacement of these bridges shouldn’t effect Municipal taxes they are Provincially owned

  2. Emily says:

    While we are considering bridge jumping, why are former Councilors able to lobby Council? This is a case of a former Councilor pushing her personal likes and attempting to use influence. This has to stop!

  3. Marnie says:

    And what about splash pads?

  4. Gary says:

    Picton residents are in a water crisis and not long ago their tax dollars went for a new roof on the Mt Tabor playhouse. Why is this non life essential need not left to the users? Life lessons tell you to look after critical needs first prior to entertainment.

  5. Fred Flinstone says:

    Not off topic if the tax dollars bleeding makes you want to jump off a “Bridge”!

  6. Susan says:

    Do we really need former Councilors lobbying our Council for taxpayer dollars as in $10,000 for their theatre passion? Oh off topic, sorry.

  7. Fred says:

    Hmmm. The Mayor speaks of the tourist economy.

  8. Mark says:

    This post has nothing to do with tourists, at all.

  9. wevil says:

    its a shame we put all our eggs in one basket TOURISTS

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