Five-kilometre section of Queensway reopens for Monday morning commute
Traffic is moving through a five-kilometre section of the Queensway in Ottawa's west end this morning, after construction crews replaced the aging Booth Street Bridge.
Highway 417 reopened to traffic between Metcalfe and Carling/Kirkwood Avenues at approximately 12 a.m. Monday, six hours ahead of schedule after crews worked through the weekend to replace the bridge in Ottawa's west end.
"Good News! 417 now fully open between Carling/Kirkwood and Metcalfe," Twitter account Ottawa_Traffic declared at 12:15 a.m.
The weekend closure forced thousands of vehicles off the highway onto city streets, causing traffic delays on Carling Avenue, Catherine Street, Bronson Avenue and other roads through Centretown, Little Italy and Westboro.
The highway was initially scheduled to be closed for 82 hours between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Monday, but the road closures and detours were lifted six hours early. On Sunday evening, construction crews were finishing the paving of the new stretch of highway, painting the traffic lines and installing the barriers before it reopened.
Using "rapid-bridge replacement" technology, construction crews are replacing the existing Booth Street Bridge. On Thursday night and Friday, crews demolished the original bridge, and then moved the new bridges into place.
"The conventional approach would take about two construction seasons and it would mean closing a lane at a time, obviously having a huge impact on traffic," Frank Vanderlaan, Ministry of Transportation, Highway Engineering Planning and Design, said on Thursday.
"Being able to do it over an 82-hour period has a huge benefit."
The Booth Street Bridge replacement is the first of five bridge replacements scheduled in Ottawa over the next three years.
The Rochester Street Bridge replacement is scheduled for the fall, with the Bronson Avenue and Percy Street overpass structures being replaced next summer. The Preston Street Overpass is scheduled to be replaced in 2024.
A live stream of the bridge replacement work along the Queensway is available on YouTube.