Causeway1

The distinctive hum of the bascule bridge of the LaSalle Causeway has been silenced after more than a century of service.  The aging structure had been under a repair order in the early Spring, which seemed to be a yearly event for the structure.  An incident on the Bascule Bridge occurred on Saturday, March 30, at approximately 5 pm, whereby an element of the bridge was compromised during construction. No one was injured or harmed as a result of this incident, but it did lead to an unexpected permanent closure of the busy connection point from Downtown Kingston to Hwy 15 and surrounding areas.

A further media advisory was posted by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on 3 May that detailed “the first phase of work, which involves strengthening various elements of the bridge and completing essential contractual work to prepare for the repairs, is currently underway. Once this work is completed, the second phase will begin. It will focus on repairing the damage to the diagonal steel element and further strengthening the structure. Successful repair work will enable the resumption of pedestrian, cyclist, vehicle and marine traffic. PSPC currently estimates that these repairs will take 8 to 10 weeks. This timeline is subject to change should unforeseen issues be uncovered during the repair work.”  A further release on 10 May still noted that repair work as on track and expected to be completed in 7-9 weeks.  Pedestrian access was opened on 15 May just prior to Convocation ceremonies at RMC.

On 29 May PSPC reported that “results from the confirmatory laser survey, referenced in the public notice of May 10, have revealed additional and significant displacement and misalignment of certain key elements of the bridge structure. Therefore, the original estimated timeline for completing repairs on the Bascule Bridge is no longer achievable.

The analysis also indicates that the remaining life of the Bascule Bridge is significantly reduced. Given these delays, the outstanding risk to return to operations and the reduced life of the Bascule Bridge, and after discussion with the City of Kingston, PSPC has decided to urgently move forward with a limited tendering process for the demolition and removal of the entire structure. We expect to be in a position to award a contract for this work as early as next week.”

On Monday 17 June demolition started on this historic landmark.  As many of our Facebook followers commented, the distinctive hum of the causeway will forever be engrained in their brain.  The singing bridge has now been silenced.



4 Comments

  1. Robert Kompf on June 24, 2024 at 4:12 pm

    Not the first time! In 1958 I was granted early departure from Ph 2 Infantry at RCS of I at Camp Borden to study for an upcoming Supp. Home environment was not conducive to study so I returned to my ” College Home”. To my dismay while I got a room, the kitchen and therefore meals was (were?) not available. OK I’ll setup my own kitchen. Dismayment Mk 2. The Causeway is only open to pedestrians. Walk in. Shop for food and gear. Walk back. Home made Mac and Cheese. One burner hot plate without temperature control. Needed to relocate. Should have taken pot of bubbly cheese first. Cord caught. Stove stopped. Cheese continued. Splash of cheese dripping from ceiling. Standing on chair on desk to reach ceiling. Enough time still to prepare for and pass Supp. My Causeway Story!

  2. 11088 Howard Hisdal on June 24, 2024 at 5:31 pm

    I hope the LaSalle Causeway will soon have a new bridge. It was a pleasant walk into town as an officer cadet at the College. Without a bridge an ice crossing will become tempting, especially late at night.

  3. David Hall on June 24, 2024 at 6:07 pm

    Back in the ’70’s weren’t I recall (or I’m delusional) where the metal bridge had two parts which had two separate resonance tones. You could “hear” that bridge all over campus. I remember the practice parade the day before we received the Freedom of the City in 1976. Crossing that bridge and it rained like hell. Almost as hard as the day we ran the obsticle course in our rook year (can I use that term now??) in 1972. Good memories all.

    • Art Jordan on June 25, 2024 at 3:33 pm

      Yes, there were two sections. The second section closest to Fort Frontenac was replaced in 1994.

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