07/20/2015 03:05 EDT | Updated 07/20/2016 05:59 EDT

Tunnel to Toronto's Billy Bishop airport set to open on July 30

The pedestrian tunnel that will connect Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport with the mainland is set to open to the public on July 30, said PortsToronto on Monday.

The 260-metre pedestrian tunnel will give passengers the option to walk to their flights instead of taking the ferry.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is currently split. On the land side, a small terminal lets passengers connect with ground transportation. But the main terminal is on the island, where the planes take off and land. Currently the only connection between the two is the short ferry trip. 

Building a tunnel to the airport has been a contentious issue. In 2003, David Miller campaigned to be mayor on the promise to not allow the island airport to build a vehicle bridge, which he said would cause congestion along the city's waterfront. Miller won the election and plans for a full bridge were shelved.

In March, 2012, PortsToronto began work on the $82.5 million pedestrian-only tunnel. 

The tunnel, set more than 30 metres underground, is accessed by accessed by escalators. It's also set to have four moving sidewalks.

The tunnel construction was paid for by a public-private partnership agreement between PortsToronto, Forum Equity Partners and lead contractor PCL, using no public money, PortsToronto said.