A bridge too far

The ups and downs of some of the biggest construction projects in Ottawa
Recent bridge projects:
Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge
Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Steve Desroches will tell you he pulled the $48-million project from the ashes left by the cancelled north-south LRT plan. Unfortunately, the project has taken a beating since the 2010 groundbreaking. The contractor went bankrupt, the city’s bonding company won’t accelerate work and the completion date has been put off until September 2014. The original opening date was in 2012. Council recently approved directing $1.6 million more to the project using money freed up in other capital works.

Airport Pkwy. Footbridge

Residents in the area of Hunt Club and McCarthy roads have waited patiently for a safe pedestrian crossing over the Airport Pkwy. The project broke ground in summer 2011 and last year officials discovered problems with the poured concrete, forcing a do-over. The $5-million bridge is part of a $6.9-million project to improve transportation and transit access in the area. The city has maintained taxpayers won’t be on the hook for any delay costs. A firm completion date for the bridge hasn’t been announced.

Jockvale Rd. Bridge

This month’s discovery of barn swallow nests put a stop to the demolition of the old Jockvale Rd. bridge over the Jock River in Barrhaven. The bird is a threatened species under provincial law and its nests can’t be relocated between May 1 and Aug. 31. The city and its contractor are determining how long the road project might be delayed and if there will be extra costs. Two new bridges are replacing the old bridge as part of a $24-million road improvement project.

Hazeldean Rd. Bridge

The $4.5-million vehicular bridge over the Carp River opened a couple months late in October 2011. Even today the new “gateway” for Kanata and Stittsville receives criticism for its stately design. The delay happened when workers discovered the deck moved more than what was anticipated during construction. The bridge was part of the $65-million widening project for Hazeldean Rd.

PLANNED BRIDGES:

Kettle Island Bridge

A $1-billion vehicular bridge between Ottawa and Gatineau would pass over Kettle Island, at the head of the Aviation Pkwy., under the National Capital Commission’s preferred plan. Mayor Jim Watson thinks the money would be better served for public transit projects and the province recently said it wouldn’t support a bridge over Kettle Island. Neighbourhoods are at odds over the need for a bridge and the location. The current study dates back to 2006.

O-Train Footbridge

A $1.5 million-pedestrian bridge is planned in Little Italy over the O-Train track between Hickory St. and Adeline St. The new bridge is expected to help people access amenities around Preston St. Several new condo towers are under development in the area.

Central-East Rideau River Footbridge

The city is currently consulting the public on a new pedestrian bridge over the Rideau River between Somerset St. E. and Donald St., linking Sandy Hill and Overbrook. The cost estimate in 2011 dollars was $7 million and was expected to increase with inflation.

Rideau Canal Footbridge

The proposed $17.5-million pedestrian bridge over the Rideau Canal would be built between Fifth Ave. and Clegg St. The 2013 budget has $2 million for the design work, so council will need to find the rest of the money in future budgets. The bridge would help pedestrians access Lansdowne Park.

Ottawa Stadium/LRT Highway Footbridge

The $8.8 million pedestrian bridge is being promoted as the key to making baseball work at the Ottawa Stadium. The bridge will span Hwy. 417 between the stadium and the future LRT stop at the Via Rail station. The bridge footings have been built and the rest of the construction will happen during the highway widening.

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