Last year, a number of larger bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects were completed in Ottawa. By completing these initiatives, the City of Ottawa has made important steps in connecting already existing bike routes and infrastructure. Let’s take a look at some works finished between December 2014 and December 2015: four bridges and an underpass with a total value of around 35 million Canadian
Coventry Bridge ($12 million)
This bridge can be found roughly between the baseball stadium and the ViaRail station (and the future Light Rail station). The bridge allows pedestrians and cyclists to avoid the Vanier Parkway. It will also make it much easier for baseball fans to come the stadium by public transport.
O Train Underpass ($ 2 million)
The Trillium Line (O-train) crossing at Brookfield used to be an at grade crossing for cycling and pedestrians. With the increased train service (every 8 minutes) it wasn’t safe to have people crossing there. The whole area there looked pretty crappy anyway. So the City invested in a beautiful new underpass. The underpass is part of a route from Centrepointe, Meadowlands, crossing Hog’s Back Fall into Brookfield all the way to Bank Street.
Hickory Bridge ($ 700,000)
This is a short bridge over the Trillium Line just two streets north of Carling. Section 37 (a community benefit provision) in the Planning Act created this opportunity to ask developers for $100,000 to pay into funding of the bridge. This bridge helps to avoid the need to cycle and walk on Carling Ave, a wide 3 lane (and underused) arterial. A number of new high-rises are being built. The bridge provides residents with a safer and more direct connection with the Trillium Line Station and with the Trillium pathway which connects to a larger bike network. According to Ottawa Community News, the total cost, including design work, soil remediation, railway flagging and construction, is $1.5 million.
Adàwe Bridge ($ 9.2 million)
Everyone in Ottawa’s central east end is ecstatic about the Adàwe bridge (Adàwe is an Algonquin word for ‘Trade’) over the Rideau River. Previously, residents had to make long detours using busy unpleasant and narrow bridges. The bridge fills in a major gap on an east west bike route.
The river is very shallow at this section, in fact so shallow that people used to just cross the water. Councillor Fleury recalled that he would take his bike on his shoulder and wade through the river on his way to university. Hundreds of people witnessed the opening of the bridge late in the fall of 2015. In the first 10 days, already 20,000 bike and ped movements were counted. And this was early December no less.
Airport Parkway Bridge ($ 5 million + $6.5 million)
After long delays and a partial rebuilt due to construction faults, the bridge was finally opened in the late Fall of 2014. The bridge prevented neighbourhoods separated by the Airport Parkway to the airport from easy access to the Trillium Line station and the South Keys Mall. Hundreds of people came out to join the opening of the bridge.
“I was a bit of a Doubting Thomas, I have to say, you know, ‘Why are we putting up such a fancy bridge?’ But when you see it, it is a gateway entry point to our nation’s capital. This is going to welcome tourists, heads of state, kings and queens, and everyone coming down the parkway as they arrive in our beautiful city,” said [Ottawa Mayor] Watson. (Ottawa Citizen)
The bridge was plagued by problems and got Genivar in problems. In the end another $6.5 million had to be poured into the bridge, over and above the original $5 million cost estimate for the original design, which in hindsight looks unreasonably low to begin with.
Here is a map with the locations: