The City of Ottawa is bracing for heavy traffic volume Wednesday morning with the grand opening of the 398,000-square-foot IKEA store in Ottawa, the furniture chain's largest store in Canada.
The 8 a.m. opening of the store — at the height of the morning rush hour and less than three weeks before Christmas — is expected to lead to higher traffic volume along Highway 417, Greenbank Road, Pinecrest Road, Iris Street and Baxter Road.
To help with traffic flow, the city said it was installing temporary special event signs prohibiting stopping on both sides of Baxter Rd. and on Iris St. between Baxter and Greenbank.
Traffic will only be allowed into the store parking lot from the Iris entrance and only allowed to exit by Baxter. The city said traffic departing from other parking lots in the mall can leave normally and IKEA staff would direct drivers on-site to available parking spaces.
Ottawa police are expected to monitor local traffic while Ontario Provincial Police keep an eye on the Highway 417 ramps at Greenbank and at Pinecrest.
Electronic message signs will also be put in place to keep commuters updated on delays in the area, the city said.