Flood-damaged NCC pathway to remain closed until November

A major restoration of the flood-damaged Voyageurs Pathway in Gatineau is well underway, but snow could be flying before cyclists and runners can use it again.

$612K restoration project won't be complete until end of November

The Voyageurs Pathway, which boasts some of the best views of Parliament Hill, has been closed since it was damaged by spring flooding in 2017. (Sandra Abma/CBC)

A major restoration of the flood-damaged Voyageurs Pathway in Gatineau is well underway, but snow could be flying before cyclists and runners can use it again.

Boasting some of the best views of Parliament Hill, the path runs along the north shore of the Ottawa River from the Canadian Museum of History to the Portage Bridge. It's been closed since the spring of 2017, when major flooding caused severe erosion and numerous potholes, making it unsafe for users.

The $612,000 restoration, one of 20 projects paid for through a $55-million infrastructure fund included in the last federal budget, will replace the path's surface with more durable asphalt and plant flood-resistant vegetation.

Project Manager Jamie Brown explains the changes the NCC has made to the pathway to help it stand up to future flooding. 0:36

New and improved

"The pathway will be built to higher standard than it was before," said Mark Kristmanson, CEO of the National Capital Commission, which manages the pathway.

"The floods of two springs ago really taught us to increase our design for resiliency," Kristmanson said. 

The $612,000 restoration project is underway, but will take several more months to complete. (Sandra Abma/CBC News)

Project manager Jamie Brown said the path should be open to the public by the end of November.

"We certainly tried to get this project off the ground as soon a we could, but we had a number of landowners, a number of stakeholders, to deal with and consult," Brown said.

Kristmanson said of all the assets the NCC is responsible for, bike paths seem to generate the most public interest.

"Millions of people use these assets," he said. "They are backbone of recreation in the region."

Off limits: The Voyageurs Pathway has been closed to the public for more than a year. (Sandra Abma/CBC)