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LRT construction delays keeping footbridge near Carleton campus incomplete

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A much-anticipated footbridge connecting Carleton University to Vincent Massey Park has been sitting unused for nearly two years, and the delay has everything to do with light rail construction.

Ian Marsland, a cyclist eager to use the bridge, says the link between the university and Vincent Massey's vast network of recreational pathways on the other side of the Rideau River is not only a much-needed gateway but also reduces travel time to other destinations like the RA Centre and Billings Bridge.

Location of the much-anticipated footbridge connecting Carleton University to Vincent Massey Park over the Rideau River. (CTV News Ottawa)

"It's going to be fantastic," he says. "It crosses the river in a place where it's very hard to cross the river right now. It's either up to Hog's Back or over to Bank Street, so this is good for the campus and the park."

The massive one-piece steel structure footbridge was originally installed in July 2022 and, at the time, several city councillors, including Riley Brockington, expected an opening within four months. That did not happen.

"We learn now that the contract is tied with the opening of the LRT Line 2," says Brockington.

The bridge and its installation is part of the original Stage-two LRT proposal.

"So as long as Line 2 is postponed, this bridge, per contract, does not does not have to open," Brockington says. "My argument is there's so little work left, basically electrical connections and some of the top bridge work weatherproofing."

Brockington wants the footbridge opened by this summer. City staff note that in order to complete work on the bridge, sustained above-zero temperatures will be needed. 

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