Boats freed as LaSalle Causeway reopens to marine traffic

The federal government says the LaSalle Causeway in Kingston, Ont., has reopened to marine traffic thanks to the bridge demolition progressing ahead of schedule.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) said it's worked closely with Priestly Demolition Inc., whose staff have been working 12-hour shifts to expedite the demolition of a damaged Bascule bridge that makes up part of the causeway.

The century-old bridge was damaged on March 30 and has remained closed to vehicles since. Tour company vessels have also been prevented from passing under the bridge between the St. Lawrence River and Kingston's Inner Harbour.

PSPC had announced it conducted a laser survey of the span and concluded it needs to be scrapped entirely.

Earlier this month, the federal government announced that boats trapped by the damaged bridge may be freed by the end of the month.

Workers could be seen examining parts of the LaSalle Causeway in Kingston, Ont. on May 9, 2024.
Workers could be seen examining parts of the LaSalle Causeway in May. The causeway reopened to marine traffic on Thursday. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

PSPC said the causeway reopened for marine navigation as of 12 p.m. Thursday.

The department said it's developing a plan with the City of Kingston to reinstate access for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians via a temporary crossing. Preliminary work to develop a permanent replacement bridge is underway, PSPC added.