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Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Kingston has released the final design for the landscaping and site restoration of the east shore as part of the Third Crossing project. Construction on the east-shore landscaping and site restoration will begin in late fall 2021 and completion in the summer of 2022.
“In designing the landscaping and site restoration plans, the team wanted to reflect the importance of the natural environment in the area, including the Cataraqui River and the large wetland north of the bridge,” says Mark Van Buren, Deputy Commissioner of Major Projects Office.
“After learning from an Indigenous ethnobotanist and considering input from key stakeholders, having a re-naturalized shoreland that promotes biodiversity along the Cataraqui River and enhancing accessible pathways for pedestrians were key elements for the east shore restoration.”
Technical considerations also helped determine the final designs for elements, including roadway alignment and drainage, stormwater management pond location, Pittsburgh Library parking lot modification, and surrounding utility infrastructure. Final design decisions were also guided by consultation with stakeholders and consultants.
The planning team says design elements are intended to enhance the city tree canopy by planting new trees and species native to the area that are well-suited to the east shore existing woodland and that create additional biodiversity have been chosen.
It will also provide new and enhanced accessible connections to promote active transportation and healthy living. Including:
- Accessible sidewalks, cycle-tracks and pathways for use by pedestrians, cyclists and multi-modal users.
- Off-road paved and accessible pathways to connect segments of a future waterfront trail network.
The area will be restored and re-naturalized with low-maintenance vegetation to promote infiltration of rainfall run-off, reduce erosion of exposed soils and sediment deposition in the Cataraqui River.
Also, the design respects the Cataraqui River and wetlands.
The location of the Third Crossing’s natural environment which is dominated by the Cataraqui River and the large wetland north of the bridge makes it unique. To aid the design, the team is also incorporating elements of Context Sensitive Design (CSD). CSD aims to make the design of the bridge ‘fit with or respond to’ its’ environment. Respecting this natural environment is reflected in many of the final east-shore design aspects, including:
- Re-naturalizing shoreland areas and the use of native and low maintenance landscaping materials that promote biodiversity.
- Re-aligning of pathways to avoid culturally sensitive areas and the rebuilding of the heritage wall parallel to Gore Road.
- Keeping the bridge as low as possible so it blends into the natural landscapes along this section of the Cataraqui River.
- Maximizing the span lengths to reduce the number of permanent in-water piers and reduce the impact on the natural aquatic environment.
- Having an above-standard life expectancy for the bridge, to minimize future maintenance and rehabilitation work and help to protect the natural environment.