The Ministry of Transportation will have plenty of ideas to sift through, when it comes to the best ways to alleviate traffic concerns during the Skyway Bridge renovations.
An information session was held in Picton Wednesday night, to gather residents’ thoughts on alternatives to completely closing the bridge during the 40-plus million dollar construction and a similar session will be held in Tyendinaga on Thursday evening.
Project Manager Glenn Higgins says the feedback helps his team dig deeper into the issues and they’ve seen some patterns developing.
The first option would be to close the bridge completely, which would shorten construction time and lessen costs, since there would be no need for traffic control.
But that option didn’t sit well with most of the residents who stopped by the Prince Edward Community Centre, mainly because of the impact it would have, forcing drivers to go all the way to Belleville just to cross the bay.
Richard Moss of Picton has worked at the Goodyear plant in Napanee for more than 20 years and says a complete closure just doesn’t make sense.
The other options involve closing one lane of the bridge and allowing traffic through in alternating directions, which would increase costs and construction times minimally, but would have the lowest impact on commuters.
PEC brewery owner Chris Parsons tells Quinte News, even though the idea he really wanted has already been ruled out, the one lane solution seems to be the best one.
Project Manager Higgins says his team will go through the comments received at both meetings to see if there’s a consensus on one specific solution.
He says if everyone seems to agree, he could make his announcement early in the fall, with planning and detailed designs taking a year and construction possibly starting in 2018.
The project will take between two and four years to complete once construction begins.
If you’d still like to submit your opinion, or just learn more about the project, you can click here to visit the Skyway Bridge construction web page.