Pinecrest Road off-ramp closure confusing some motorists in Ottawa's west end
OTTAWA -- The closure of an off-ramp on the Queensway is causing confusion in Ottawa's west end, with some motorists continuing to use the exit despite the signs.
The Pinecrest Road exit of the westbound Hwy. 417 is closed until the summer of 2023 to accommodate construction on Stage 2 of the LRT project.
"So, they’ve had the construction there for some time now, but now it’s way more confusing," says Lobban Erwin, who drove to Ikea using side streets. "It’s so confusing, it’s definitely not even worth driving this way anymore. We try to avoid it altogether.”
The ramp closed overnight on Nov 1; but with no barriers in place, some drivers continued to use it as of Thursday. Police have started stopping some motorists.
"Construction workers deserve a safe working environment, and when motorists enter these closed-off zone, serious injury or worse is a likely result,” says A. Sgt. Tylor Copeland with the Ontario Provincial Police.
"The OPP would like to remind motorists to follow the signs and respect the lane closure that’s in place; the results of travelling through a construction zone could be devastating."
Putting the lives of construction workers at risk, and a dent in your wallet.
"If you fail to obey these signs, you could be charged under the Highway Traffic Act for driving on a closed highway; and this carries a $110 fine plus three demerit points,” says Copeland.
The off-ramp is closed to most traffic; but OC Transpo buses continue to use it.
“The existing off-ramp is closed to general traffic and is open to transit traffic only,” writes Michael Morgan, Director, Rail Construction program with the City of Ottawa in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.
"As of this weekend, a new temporary bus ramp will be brought into service and the entire existing Pinecrest off-ramp will be closed to all traffic."
Crews are building a trench on the north-side of the highway to allow the train to travel under Pinecrest Road and the highway ramps.
The city recommends motorists use Woodroffe Avenue as a detour.