OTTAWA -- As we head into the summer months, construction season is ramping up across the City of Ottawa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And some city-run projects may benefit from less traffic volume on the roads across Ottawa.

On Montreal Road, a major revitalization project is underway. The nearly two-kilometre stretch from North River Road to St. Laurent Boulevard is being completely re-designed.

A new watermain and sewer are being installed, and hydro wires are being moved underground. At street-level, raised bike lanes and new pedestrian walkways are being built.

The $58 million project, which began in 2017, is still expected to be on schedule, finishing in the fall of 2022.

Although the project is moving forward as planned, City of Ottawa program manager Bruce Kenny says there have been some challenges. 

“There’s going to be less construction workers occupying any given space, which can inherently add to some scheduling impacts however our projects are an essential service.”

While some aspects of the construction process had to change, such as wider sidewalk passages to allow for physical distancing, some parts of the project have been easier to navigate. 

There has been a significant reduction in traffic across the city, allowing crews the opportunity to work more efficiently in some areas. Kenny points to the intersection of Montreal Road and Vanier Parkway, which was finished over the last month while traffic was at a minimum.

Lower passenger volume on the Confederation Line saw the train shutdown in May, allowing the Rideau Transit Group to complete maintenance and address problems affecting service.

However, less traffic on the roads and fewer people outside does not mean more construction. The city already has hundreds of projects scheduled and underway, which Kenny says takes time to plan and execute.

“We would always look for those opportunities in special circumstances but for the most part we have our infrastructure renewal program and we are continuing along the original plans.”

Some of the city’s major projects that are currently underway are:

  • Elgin Street Renewal Project
  • Harmer Avenue Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge Replacement
  • Kanata South Link
  • Montreal Road Revitalization
  • Bronson Avenue Reconstruction
  • Strandherd Drive Widening
  • Bay Street Cycling
  • Rideau Street Renewal
  • Campeau Drive Extension
  • Rosemount Library

A complete list of current and future projects is available through the city, as well as an interactive map.