Kingston LaSalle Causeway
The LaSalle Causeway links downtown Kingston to Pittsburgh near the mouth of the Cataraqui River. It was built in 1917 replacing the 1829 'Penny Bridge', a wooden toll bridge with a swing section to allow passage of marine vessels. The first permanent crossing was a cable ferry built in 1786.
The causeway consists of seven interconnecting engineered structures; three bridges, two wharfs, and two approaches. The west wharf contains the site office and workshop for the bridge and the operator control station for the lift bridge. The bridges include two fixed bridges at each end of the causeway, and the center bascule lift bridge. The original fixed truss bridges have been replaced with reinforced concrete beam bridges; the east end bridge in 1962 and the west end in 1993.
The trunnion bascule lift bridge was designed by the American engineer, Joe Strauss, a pioneer of lift bridge design. Completed in 1916, it is a single leaf lift span made of a steel girder truss balancing on a trunnion pivoting against a concrete counterweight. Beginning in 2009, an extensive rehabilitation of the lift structure will ensure service well into the middle of the twenty first century.
The LaSalle Causeway is considered part of Provincial Highway 2 and is the main artery connecting the City of Kingston to its eastern suburbs. The Royal Military Collage, CFB Kingston, and the historic site of Fort Henry are also on the east side of the causeway. Approximately 23,000 vehicles cross the causeway daily; to relieve congestion, lifting for marine traffic is restricted during rush hours. With its urban setting, it also carries many cyclists and pedestrians.
The Cataraqui River is the southern entrance to the Rideau Canal, a designated UNESCO world heritage site. The canal system, which links Lake Ontario to Ottawa through a system of locks is operated by Parks Canada. The LaSalle Causeway provides marine access to the canal and the inner harbour of Kingston. The boating season on the canal runs from May to October.
The lift bridge operates during the boating season from May to November. It lifts on the hour between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. for pleasure craft according to the schedule below to allow for rush hour road traffic and on demand for commercial vessels. The bridge operates by request during the off season, weather and maintenance permitting.
Mornings: 0600, 0700, 0900, 1000, 1100
Afternoons: 1300, 1400, 1500
Evenings: 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, 2200.
0600 to 2200 every hour on the hour.
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