by Margaret Knott
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Annual Archives
Margaret Knott's What's New on Frontenac Islands articles appear with the kind permission of the The Kingston Heritage Newspaper.

What's New on Frontenac Islands

August 24, 2017

Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking EA Moves Forward

At the invitation of the Ministry of Transportation, and Morrison Hershfield Ltd., Wolfe islanders attended a third, and final round, of Public Information Centres (PICs) on Wolfe Island, and in Kingston. They were held to provide the public and stakeholders an opportunity to review, and discuss, the evaluation and selection of the preferred docking alternative for each ferry terminal, Marysville, Dawson Point, and Kingston, with members of the MTO and the Morrison Hershfield Ltd. Project Team.
Morrison Hershfield Ltd. has been conducting the $1.8 million environmental assessment of the potential for adding a 75-vehicle ferry to the route and rebuilding the three ferry terminals, both on and off shore, including changes to the marshaling areas, larger dock & mooring facilities, improved pedestrian and cycling facilities, terminal facilities etc. The Aug. 23rd& 24th PIC’s followed a “drop-in” format. This is also the first time the MTO has conducted an EA for the addition of a second ferry to an existing route.
A steady flow of Islanders dutifully lined up to read the content and view the pictures on the boards set up around the Sacred Heart School gymnasium outlining and updating the study material. It included content from the 1st & 2nd PIC meetings and the accepted plan for the three docks, along with the usual graphics and artists renditions. At the 1st and 2nd PIC’s many were unable to visualise all vehicular traffic accommodated on the ferry dock itself, with no traffic lined up on the Main Street of Marysville. T here were requests for improvements to the road to the Dawson Point dock seen as dangerous , too narrow etc.
This time round, an impressive computer generated video, with animation, of the proposed three new docks in Marysville , at Dawson Point and in Kingston was available for continuous viewing. It contained some text but no audio and the visuals were spectacular. And watch it they did, more than once…. As Case DeRuiter put it, “the video sure helps get all this in perspective.” For those not able to attend check the website..
Some people were anxious. Others annoyed and frustrated with the process. “It all seems too much,” some said. “all we need is a second boat,” said others, and of course comments about a bridge came up as well. “Wouldn’t that be cheaper….?” Others are excited about the future.. and what it could mean for tourism, the business community, economic development and possible growth. “It’s progress, not ours to reject,” was the sentiment from some older members of the community who have always just wanted MTO to recognize that time was as important as capacity and two boats operating on the half hour was what they see as the best solution, now and into the future….as it was way back when. Members of the community are divided on the use of Dawson Point, maintaining that both ferries must come into Marysville year round. Others suggest Dawson Point for trucks, agricultural and service vehicles, primarily going east or west and avoiding the village if that is not there destination. Others concur with use of both.
The study indicated that at the Marysville dock all parking and marshalling to be built for the new 75 vehicle ferry would extend into the water. The Dawson Point terminal requires some land purchase for parking and an extended pier out into the water to give some protection against wind and current fluctuations. The Kingston dock shows vehicles loading at the east end of the dock with wider passenger waiting areas on the dock. A land purchase may be required. No parking remaining is shown at the city dock.
Funding… With regard to funding, it was confirmed that the costs have been profiled (written in) to the long range plan for spending in the province. Which means all this could really happen. Not guaranteed, but really could happen.
MTO is looking for feedback on the new docking proposals, see the above website, and encouraged everyone to submit their comments, and to complete a short survey at: Letting of the contracts for the two ferries, one for Amherst Island, the other for Wolfe is expected this fall, as told to Mayor Doyle at the AMO conference.
It was a good gathering. While concerns remain, there was a sense of optimism and excitement in the air and a continued willingness , in fact an eagerness, to continue participating in the process and to cheer on the Project Team… as they move into the next phase.
FYI-Upon completion of the Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) 30-day public review period, the formal Environmental Assessment process will be completed allowing the Project Team to proceed to Detail Design and ultimately to construction.
Around Town: Marysville continues busy with guests and visitors, in spite of wild weather spurts. * Horne’s Ferry had a bad time for a couple of days but is back fully in service. ** The WI Gift Shop open until Labour Day.
Coming events: **Wolfe Island Plowing Match September 9th at the Henry and Janine Posthumus Farm.** WI River Front Golf Course, for Info: 613-385-9978 **The Corn Maze is now open, for Info call: 613 385-1998

Posted by M Knott at 10:07 AM