Ottawa

How the Ottawa-Gatineau bridge closures will affect your commute

The federal government and National Capital Commission are rolling out four years of staggered construction across three of the five bridges connecting Ottawa and Gatineau.

This June will see the most impact, with 3 of 5 bridges affected

The busy Alexandra Bridge boardwalk is due for some rehabilitation work and will close from the summer of 2021 until the end of 2022. Its foot and pedal traffic makes up 33 per cent of the daily average across all five bridges. (Christian Milette/CBC)

The federal government and the National Capital Commission (NCC) are rolling out four years of staggered construction across three of the five bridges connecting Ottawa and Gatineau.

The first project starts March 30 and the last isn't expected to end until December 2022.

What it means this year

First of all, the two busiest bridges over the Ottawa River, which carry about 55 per cent of average daily vehicular traffic, are basically being left alone.

The Macdonald-Cartier Bridge connecting King Edward Avenue in Ottawa to Highway 5 in Gatineau is getting some rather routine inspection work in June, costing it a Gatineau-bound lane outside of rush hour.

The Champlain Bridge between Island Park Drive and chemin d'Aylmer isn't having anything done.

This June will see a number of disruptions on the Alexandra, Chaudière and Portage bridges, however, particularly if you're going to Quebec:

  • Drivers will lose one of the two Gatineau-bound lanes on the Portage Bridge linking Wellington Street to boulevard Maisonneuve from the end of March to June, allowing the NCC to raise and separate the existing bike lane. Another of these lanes will occasionally close outside rush hours.
  • From June to August, the Chaudière Bridge near the Canadian War Museum is closed to most vehicles as part of the Zibi construction project. Buses can still use it on a "limited detour" through the Zibi site, and cyclists and pedestrians will have a sidewalk available.
  • Starting in June, the Alexandra Bridge between the National Gallery of Canada and Canadian Museum of History is down to one reversible traffic lane and the pedestrian boardwalk. Traffic will flow toward Ottawa at all times except from 3 to 7 p.m., when it will change to allow only Gatineau-bound traffic.

2020

This summer will see just one construction project at a time.

The Alexandra Bridge is back to two traffic lanes in June.

In July, the ​Chaudière Bridge is down to a single reversible lane over the Union Bridge — the green-tinged portion in the middle that turns 100 this year.

It will likely follow a similar pattern as the Alexandra Bridge's reversible plan.

The Union Bridge in the middle of the Chaudière Crossing. It will be 101 years old by the time this major project starts in 2020. (PSPC/NCC)

2021

Two of the five bridges are affected by construction work this summer, similar to the late summer of 2019.

The Alexandra Bridge loses its boardwalk to rehabilitation work in June, so it's back to a single lane of reversible traffic and sending pedestrians to the reworked grated lane on the east side of the bridge.

And the Chaudière Bridge work that began the previous year ​is expected to end in October.

2022

The Alexandra Bridge boardwalk steel replacement will last until December.

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