Mayor Robert Quaiff is voicing concerns surrounding the unknown timelines for proposed repairs to three major entrances into Prince Edward County.
The Ministry of Transportation has announced rehabilitation is required for the Norris Whitney Bridge that connects the County to Belleville. The MTO has already begun the public consultation process for repair work on the Quinte Skyway Bridge linking the County to the Tyendinaga Territory. In addition, the Murray Canal Swing Bridge connecting the County to Brighton is slated to start in spring 2018.
Mayor Quiaff expressed his desire to sit down with the MTO to find out all of the dates and deadlines for each project.
In the meantime, the mayor has been corresponding with MTO Project Manager Glenn Higgins via email on the issue.
Quinte News has obtained an email between Mayor Quaiff and Higgins.
Mayor Quaiff expressed concerns about about all three but focused his attention on the 30-year-old Norris Whitney ‘which is most definitely the main artery in and out of the County.’
The Norris Whitey is projected to have a 75-year shelf life however Higgins stated it’s at the point where rehabilitation is required.
He said the ministry is currently carrying out data collection and traffic analysis to determine the timing and extent of rehabilitation work that can be done on the Norris Whitney Bridge in the near future. 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.
Each of these projects is in the process of following the Class Environmental Assessment and will evaluate traffic delays, environmental and economic impacts.
“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 on these bridges to ensure the impacts to traffic are considered,” Higgins explained. “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 a 5 year window.”
Public and stakeholder consultation will take place if any single lane closures are expected to occur during the day. Short duration full closures (both lanes) may be required to allow some rehabilitation of the joints and bearings, but the timing has not been established yet.
“There will be consultation in determining what timing windows are available and notice will be provided to ensure impacts can be mitigated,” said Higgins.
Meanwhile, as we reported earlier the Norris Whitney will be down to one lane, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday November 1, as construction crews complete some pavement work.