Fall construction won't stall commute, city assures drivers

Construction on Ottawa's roads isn't expected to clog major routes or cause significant new headaches for motorists this fall, city officials assured residents Wednesday.

Despite ongoing LRT work and several new projects, no major traffic tie-ups anticipated

Construction on underground LRT stations, such as Rideau Station, isn't expected to cause major traffic problems, city officials said Wednesday. (City of Ottawa)

For once, "fall colours" in Ottawa might not mean orange traffic cones and yellow hard hats.

Construction on Ottawa's roads isn't expected to clog major routes or cause significant new headaches for motorists this fall, city officials assured residents Wednesday.

In a seasonal construction briefing at Ottawa City Hall, city officials emphasized their goal this fall is to minimize impact on main routes and keep traffic flowing.

"I don't think we're going to have a large bottleneck specifically this year," said Greg Kent, traffic manager for the city. "Construction has ramped down a bit, even though there will be construction again this year."

That will be a relief for motorists who have had to deal with major road closures and detours, much of it due to ongoing LRT construction.

Several new projects are set to begin over the next three months, while some ongoing projects will continue through the fall.

Fall construction

  • George Street Plaza renewal: This ByWard Market square's facelift will continue into the autumn months. The concrete surface will be upgraded, more seating will be added and lighting and water features will be installed. 
  • Mackenzie Avenue cycling track: While this segregated bike lane has already opened, construction to connect it to existing cycling lanes on Wellington and Rideau streets will continue. 
  • Sewage storage under Kent Street: Work to bore a tunnel for waste storage under Kent Street will continue until early 2018, with construction this fall extending the tunnel through the downtown core up to the Supreme Court. 
  • Road rehabilitation on Prince of Wales Drive and Bank Street: Sections of these streets south of downtown will be resurfaced and fixed. The City classifies the construction as major road work, but most of the work will be done overnight and on weekends.
  • Construction of the Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street bridge: Work on the new cycling and pedestrian bridge over the Rideau Canal will begin this fall. 
The southern portion of Prince of Wales Drive will undergo major rehabilitation over the next few months. (City of Ottawa)

Traffic impact

Though no major traffic interruptions are anticipated, you may want to avoid certain areas of the city during peak times. 

  • St. Laurent Boulevard will be slow due to work on transit lanes. 
  • Lane reductions continue to be in effect for Scott and Albert streets because of LRT construction.

The city is advising residents to plan around the construction, avoid travelling during peak hours, and to carpool, cycle or take public transit. Commuters may also want to consider alternative work arrangements.

The city is also reminding drivers to be careful of cyclists and pedestrians, especially where infrastructure such as new bike lanes or sidewalks has recently been built.

With files from Giacomo Panico