'Unprecedented' roadwork begins this month
Traffic delays expected on 417 and other major routes
Ottawa commuters who thought last summer's construction season was intolerable are being warned to prepare for even more delays this year.
The city outlined in a technical briefing Thursday what it is calling an "unprecedented" construction season — with 375 projects in the works.
The city will be spending $540 million on the projects, including resurfacing nearly 200 km of road.
Projects expected to have a major impact include the continued widening of the 417, where roadwork will reduce the highway to two lanes between Nicholas and the split with the 174.
There will also be highway ramp closures at Riverside (in April), Vanier (in May) and St. Laurent (in June).
Work on the Carp overpass and Baseline Road resurfacing both begin this month and are expected to lead to delays longer than 15 minutes.
Beginning in July, work on the Lees bridge, Highway 174 and St. Joseph Boulevard is also expected to cause traffic headaches.
"There will be closures, there will be detours...it's going to be similar to last year, maybe a little bit worse," said city councillor Keith Egli.
Delays are also expected on the Macdonald Cartier and Chaudiere bridge crossings connecting Ottawa to Gatineau.