John Counter Boulevard
Rendering of completed John Counter Boulevard overpass.
About the Project
John Counter Boulevard is a major east-west arterial route that passes across the top of Kingston from the Cataraqui River to Princess Street. It is an important and growing employment and shopping area and acts as a link to four of Kingston's main thoroughfares: Montreal Street, Division Street, Princess Street and Taylor-Kidd Boulevard. More than 20,000 vehicles and 50 trains pass through this crossing on John Counter Boulevard each day.
As part of this project, the City is proposing to:
- Improve safety for all road users with better traffic flow and the addition of a new bridge over the CN Rail line
- Improve comfort and accessibility for people walking and cycling on John Counter Boulevard with the creation of new pedestrian and cycling facilities
- Easy access into VIA train station from John Counter Boulevard
- Accommodate the needs of nearby businesses and institutions
The project is broken up into five distinct construction phases which include the widening from Division Street to Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard.
Current Phase - Underway
Phase 5b: 2019 to 2021
The final phase stretching from Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard to Princess Street involves the re-alignment and widening of John Counter and the construction of the bridge over the rail line. The bridge and new roadway will provide for a full urban street, including new pedestrian and cycling facilities, a new entrance to the VIA Rail station, and further intersection improvements along this corridor. The improvements include two new sets of traffic signals: one traffic signal at the intersection of Old Mill Road/John Counter Boulevard; and one as the new Portsmouth Avenue/John Counter Boulevard.
The contract for construction work related to Phase 5b has been awarded to R.W. Tomlinson Ltd. The work on Phase 5b began in July 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2021.
- View the June 2019 Design & project update
Phase 1 and 2 involved road widening from Division Street to Sir John A MacDonald Blvd and was completed in 2013.The work included the installation of storm sewers and storm water quality structures, as well widening the two lane road to four lanes and grade adjustments to have the road surface drainage improved. The road was brought up to an urban profile with curbs, sidewalks and bike lanes.
Phase 3 involved land clearing, grubbing and preloading of embankment areas for the future bridge abutments. The work also included wetland and floodplain compensation which involves the creation of new flood storage and wetland areas to offset the losses associated with the embankment construction. This work was completed in 2018.
Phase 4 widening John Counter to four lanes between Sir John A. Macdonald and Indian Road and was completed in late 2018. The work included the installation of storm sewers and storm water quality pond as well widening the two lane road to four lanes and grade adjustments to have the road surface drainage improved.
Phase 5a re-aligned Portsmouth Avenue onto John Counter Boulevard and included the construction of a landscaped berm on the existing William Hackett Park to help with noise deflection and visual beautification during construction for neighbours of the site. William Hackett Park was relocated to the west of the realigned Portsmouth Avenue. The park includes a level green space and a parking area. To help facilitate the needs of the community, a new playground structure was completed in the park area east of Portsmouth Avenue. In 2009 the Reconfiguration of Markers Acres Park to include a full-sized soccer field was completed in preparation for the loss of the soccer field at William Hackett Park due to the realignment of Portsmouth. The soccer field was an intricate part of the revitalization of the Markers Acres Park and was part of the $8.3 million project implementation budget approved by council in 2006.
How the project links to the Transportation Master Plan
The 2015-2018 Transportation Master Plan identified the widening of John Counter Boulevard as part of the Recommended Transportation Network Improvements. Completing this project will help us accommodate the forecast growth of the City.