Workers remove new fire hydrant in middle of Booth Street bridge sidewalk
Fire hydrant placed on sidewalk by mistake by Rideau Transit Group and they're paying to fix it
A fire hydrant curiously placed in the middle of a sidewalk in the centre of the new Booth Street bridge was removed this morning, just days before the roadway connecting Albert Street and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway is expected to open.
The road has been closed to traffic since December 2014 as part of LRT construction. It is slated to open on Sunday.
Coun. Catherine McKenney, whose ward includes the bridge, said she found out about the hydrant on Twitter Wednesday night.
Look at where the fire hydrant is. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottwalk?src=hash">#ottwalk</a> <a href="https://t.co/4tDX2vGL2q">https://t.co/4tDX2vGL2q</a>—@modalmom
She told CBC News the placement of the fire hydrant "was an error" on the part of the Rideau Transit Group, the contractor responsible for designing, building and financing the new Confederation LRT line.
"It's just so surprising that you can have — I'm not an engineer — but that you could have this go through design work and construction and build, through all of that and no one wondered how or why you could have a hydrant in the middle of a sidewalk that will seriously impede pedestrians, most certainly anyone with mobility impairment that requires a wheelchair or anything," she said.
"It's a bit shocking that it took a local resident to notice it and take a picture before anyone else thought there was something wrong with that."
Here's the raw footage of the hydrant coming out with a very talkative onlooker featured prominently. <a href="https://t.co/vNsjH3MH3S">pic.twitter.com/vNsjH3MH3S</a>—@amkfoote
In an email, Ottawa's director of rail implementation Steve Cripps said the future Pimisi transit station needs a hydrant nearby, but that was the wrong place to put one.
"It was improperly located and was therefore removed today, at the cost of the contractor," he said.
"The hydrant will be relocated prior to station opening in a location that will be in keeping with City design standards, at the cost of the contractor."
Bridge design already drew criticism
Cyclists will have a marked, unprotected bike lane and can legally use the sidewalk as well once the bridge opens.
Members of council and Mayor Jim Watson have already acknowledged it was a failure not including segregated bike lanes on the bridge and vowed that those cycling safety measures would be added by the end of 2018 — at a cost of $2 million.
The cost will be split by the federal government and the LRT contingency fund.
The new Pimisi station is expected to open by July 1, 2018, with the rest of the first phase of the city's light rail line.