Why is the MTO doing this EA study?

In 2011 the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) undertook a study to develop detail designs for the rehabilitation of 29 structures in Eastern Region. After thorough review of the condition of the Highway 49 Bay of Quinte Skyway structure, the MTO determined it was necessary to replace the entire superstructure.

Given that the replacement of the entire superstructure could result in significant traffic staging impacts, MTO initiated a Feasibility Study to examine alternative rehabilitation options. During the feasibility study 45 preliminary alternatives were developed. A screening process, based primarily on technical and economic feasibility, was completed to determine which alternatives were reasonable to be carried forward for public input and further analysis. Five alternatives from the original 45 were carried forward for further analysis.

This Class Environmental Assessment Study will build on the results of the feasibility study by undertaking a more detailed evaluation of the five preliminary alternatives. The evaluations will fully consider the natural, socio-economic and cultural implications of the five alternatives. A Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) will be prepared at the end of the study and will be made available for a 30-day Public Review Period. The TESR documents the entire study process, including a detailed description of the Recommended Plan and details of environmental impacts and proposed methods to reduce, minimize, or avoid impacts. The completion of the Transportation Environmental Study Report will allow for EA approval and ultimately to tending of a contract for construction.

When does the public have an opportunity for input into the EA study?

The project is following the approved planning process for a Group ‘B’ project in accordance with the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000) with the opportunity for public input throughout the study. Two rounds of Public Information Centres (PICs) will be held. One round of PICs is scheduled for August 17th 2016 in Picton. A PIC will also be held in the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Community on August 18th. The second round of PICs is tentatively scheduled for fall/winter 2016. See the Consultation section of this website for more details on providing input.

The MTO EA evaluation process is based on a number of guiding principles including:

  • All relevant factors and alternatives, including transportation engineering and environmental protection, will be given due consideration.
  • The evaluation process must be traceable, replicable, and must be understandable by those who may be affected by the decisions.
  • Public input is a major component in the process and a requirement under the EA Act.

When will the preferred design be implemented?

Before construction and implementation timelines can be determined the design must receive environmental clearance (expected in late 2016). Construction timing cannot be determined until engineering details have been finalized and any necessary environmental approvals/permits are obtained.

Will municipal staff be involved in the project?

A Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) will be established and include membership from the Study Team, Prince Edward County, Hastings County, City of Belleville, Township of Tyendinaga, and Town of Deseronto, as well as any others considered appropriate.

The MAC will meet at key milestones throughout the study, including three proposed meetings of which the purpose will be:

  • MAC #1: Introduce the study, obtain information and discuss the alternatives under consideration.
  • MAC #2: Review the input received during the first round of consultation and to obtain input into the evaluation process.
  • MAC #3: Review and discuss the preferred alternative and proposed mitigation measures.

How does the EA process work?

Visit the EA Process section of this website for more information on the EA process.

When does the public have the opportunity to appeal the study?

Under the Environmental ‎Assessment Act, an appeal is referred to as a Part II Order or "bump up" request. Part II Order requests (“Bump ups”) are possible during the 30 day review period of the Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR). The Part II Order (bump-up) needs to be based upon a number of criteria including:

  • Purpose of the Act
  • Undertaking differs from other undertakings in the Class
  • Significance of “Factors”
  • Any reasons given by the person who requests bump-up

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change makes the decision / ruling regarding bump-up requests.