Ottawa

Everything you need to know about the Harmer Avenue bridge demolition

The demolition of the 55-year-old Harmer Avenue pedestrian bridge will take place this weekend.

Highway 417 closure starts at 5 p.m. Saturday and ends 11 a.m. Sunday

The City of Ottawa says the current Harmer Avenue Pedestrian Bridge has reached the end of its life cycle. The bridge was one of the first to cross a 400-level highway when it opened in the 1960s. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

The demolition of the 55-year-old Harmer Avenue pedestrian bridge will take place this weekend. 

The city is replacing the pedestrian bridge over the next two years. It was originally built in 1963, crossing over Highway 417 between the Civic Hospital neighbourhood to the south, and Wellington Village and Hintonburg to the north.

The current bridge, covered in a sagging chain-link canopy, has reached the end of its life cycle.

The replacement bridge will feature glass panels, a steel roof and anti-slip flooring.

With few streets in the area crossing under Highway 417, the Harmer Avenue bridge provides an important north-south link for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge is also used by children who attend school north of the highway.

The city has implemented a detour for cyclists and pedestrians to use during the demolition and replacement process. 

Residents have questioned the long timeline for the replacement, but the city said it cannot be replaced as quickly as some other bridges in the city.

Highway closures 

To accommodate the demolition safely, Highway 417 will be closed for some of this weekend in both directions between Bronson and Carling avenues.

Significant traffic impacts are expected during the closure, which is planned to start at 5 p.m. Saturday and end 11 a.m. Sunday.

Several eastbound on-ramps will be closed, including those at Carling, Parkdale and Maitland avenues. Some westbound on-ramps will also be closed, including those at O'Connor, Catherine, Rochester and Lyon streets, and Parkdale Avenue.

The city has suggested alternative routes for westbound and eastbound drivers during the closure, and is asking motorists to plan all trips well in advance.

The new Harmer Avenue pedestrian bridge, shown in this concept rendering, will have glass panels, a steel roof and anti-slip flooring. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)