Rideau Street ready for its big reveal
After 5 years of construction and a massive sinkhole, downtown strip reopens Saturday
Ottawa's Rideau Street is set to reopen Saturday after five years under construction, and the local city councillor says when it does, the downtown strip will have a whole new look and feel.
"It's going to be a slower street, which will make it more enticing for everyone," said Coun. Mathieu Fleury. "You don't have a Transitway feeling that Rideau used to have prior to the closure."
The section of Rideau Street between Sussex Drive and Dalhousie Street has remained largely off limits to vehicles since 2015, when it was closed for renovations to the Rideau Centre and construction of a new light rail station.
The following year, a massive sinkhole swallowed a parked van and three lanes of traffic, causing yet more work. The surface has since undergone a significant streetscaping project.
'We're even hoping for patios'
When Rideau reopens Saturday at 2 p.m., there will be just two lanes of traffic instead of four, with special bays for OC Transpo buses to pick up and drop off passengers, said Fleury.
There will also be separated bike lanes, which the city plans to connect to other cycling routes in the future, plus more trees and expansive sidewalks — in some areas as wide as 10 metres.
"It will open this winter, but we'll get the full benefit of the final streetscaping and those improvements when all is in place in the spring," said Fleury.
Pedestrians may notice an increase in car traffic but far fewer buses, since the LRT has replaced many of the OC Transpo's downtown routes and STO buses no longer use Rideau Street.
With that, Fleury said, the street should be less noisy and feel more welcoming.
"We're even hoping for patios along the corridor," he said.
A week before <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RideauSt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RideauSt</a> opening.<br><br>On site with City team to identify minor elements ahead of the big day!<br><br>La rue Rideau réouvre le fin de semaine prochaine. <br><br>Sur le site ce matin avec l'équipe de la Ville pour les "petits fix" d'ici l'ouverture. <a href="https://t.co/Om6WPtsLVn">pic.twitter.com/Om6WPtsLVn</a>—@MathieuFleury