Study Overview

In 2011 Morrison Hershfield Limited was retained by the Ministry of Transportation to develop detail designs for the rehabilitation of 29 structures. After thorough review of the condition of the Highway 49 Bay of Quinte Skyway structure, the Ministry determined it was necessary to replace the entire superstructure.

Built in 1967 the Highway 49 Bay of Quinte Skyway structure exhibits substantial deterioration, particularly to the bridge deck, piers, and steel girders. The structure also does not meet current design standards for shoulder width and traffic barriers.

Subsequently, Morrison Hershfield conducted a feasibility study to examine traffic staging options for the bridge rehabilitation. The feasibility study examined five categories of options:

  • Full closure (2 lanes) of the bridge
  • Partial closure (1 lane) during construction
  • Single lane, bi-directional traffic on the bridge
  • Maintain 2 lanes of traffic on the bridge
  • Full reconstruction on an adjacent new alignment

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 recommended to be carried forward for further analysis, at least one from each family of options except the fourth and fifth option (maintaining two lanes of traffic on the bridge during construction and full reconstruction on an adjacent alignment) which were eliminated primarily due to cost, complex construction requirements and property impacts.

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. Input from the public, municipalities and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) community throughout the process will be key to the evaluation of alternatives.

The study will follow the approved planning process for a Group ‘B’ project in accordance with the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000). 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.

This study will proceed with the following stages of the Class EA process (see diagram below):

  • Develop Shortlist Alternatives;
  • Generate Shortlist Alternatives;
  • Assess and Evaluate Alternatives;
  • Select the Preferred Alternative;
  • Develop Final Design and Mitigation Measures; and
  • Develop a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR).
Study Process
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