Friday, September 4, 2015
With summer coming to a close, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect construction to start ramping down as the weather turns colder. But it appears the City of Ottawa has a different idea in mind.
More than 120 construction projects will be ongoing over the fall, including 45 new projects ranging from bridge replacements to transit stop relocation, the city revealed in a technical briefing to city councillors and media on Thursday.
Coun. Keith Egli, who is also the chair of the transportation committee, said the city is now “in the thick of it” and will be continuing major projects, including the widening of Greenbank Road in Barrhaven and the continued excavation of caverns for light rail transit stations at Lyon Street, Parliament and Rideau.
“While construction will continue, it is becoming easier to look ahead where we can start to see the light rail at the end of the tunnel,” said Egli.
Alain Gonthier, manager of infrastructure services, said the excavation was 83 per cent done at Lyon Station, 45 per cent done at Parliament Station and 40 per cent done at Rideau Station.
Above ground, the rapid bridge on Hwy 417 at Kent Street will be closed on Sept. 26 and 27, with eastbound commuters not being able to access it two weeks before or after construction.
Additionally, Nicholas Street will be facing lane reductions during the fall, which Gonthier pinpointed as one of the projects most likely to impact traffic.
But, he said, it’s not all delays and detours. Expansion work on Hwy 417 wrapped up in August, he said, which will help ease traffic congestion.
“From a construction perspective, there’s still just as much construction today (as last year,)” he said. “But that project in itself will have a significant impact on commuters.”
Manager of transit services Colleen Connelly said OC Transpo was not expecting any major service changes over the fall.
But, she said, bus officials will be at the University of Ottawa to explain route changes and detours that were implemented in June. The reasoning, Connelly said, is that some students may not have been in town when the changes were initially made.
And with university students returning to classes, of course, an increased bus schedule has been put in place to accommodate the larger number of transit users.
The full document presented Thursday is available at scribd.com/doc/278141285/FallConstructionBriefing.
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