FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JULY 15, 2019
Belleville – The Province of Ontario will provide the City of Belleville up to $3 million for structural work to extend the life of the Sagonaska Bridge, Todd Smith announced today.
The Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services explained the funding is provided through the Ministry of Transportation’s Connecting Links Program, which supports infrastructure renewals on municipal roads and bridges that join segments of provincial highway.
With the Province contributing 90 per cent of eligible costs, the City will be able to replace extension joints, effect structural repairs, and add waterproofing to the six-lane, two-span bridge over the Moira River, built in 1978. Smith noted that while the structure had not been upgraded in its lifespan, it was starting to show signs of severe deterioration.
“This important structural link on Hwy 62 has endured weathering over the years and it had become a concern for the City,” Smith said. “Our government is committing to investing to offer peace of mind the Sagonaska Bridge and other valuable links will in good maintenance for years to come.”
Smith noted the route via North Front and Pinnacle streets is one of just four major north-south arteries in the City. It is heavily used by local residents to reach shopping destinations and Hwy 401 and serves as a major access point for the downtown, public-service facilities like Belleville General Hospital and Loyalist College, as well as Prince Edward County.
Previously, the Connecting Links program provided $157,000 for detailed design work for the Sagonaska Bridge. This further investment is a natural progression to preserve a key piece of infrastructure.
Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk welcomed the funding.
“We are very pleased to learn of the Ministry of Transportation’s decision to provide $3 million, through their 2019-2020 Connecting Links program, for the Sagonaska Bridge rehabilitation project,” Panciuk said. “The bridge carries Hwy 62/Pinnacle Street over the Moira River and is a critical connection point within the City’s road network. With this support, we are prepared to proceed quickly and get this initiative underway.”
Smith was pleased to be joined by Hastings-Lennox and Addington MPP Daryl Kramp as he met Panciuk and other City of Belleville officials for the announcement Monday.
The Connecting Links Program covers 352 km of roads and 70 bridges in 77 municipalities across Ontario. For 2019, the Province has approved $30 million in funding to support 25 projects in 23 municipalities. Design, construction, renewal, rehabilitation and replacement costs are eligible to be funded.
Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said the fund is a good example of how the Province is partnering with municipalities to create positive change.
“We are investing in municipal roads and bridges to keep families safe and to support jobs and growth in local communities,” said Mulroney. “We are working with municipal partners to make investments to help ensure Ontario’s transportation system works for everyone.”
Eligible municipalities will be encouraged to apply for the 2020-2021 Connecting Links Program during an intake later this year.