Plans moving ahead for Alexandra Bridge teardown
Public information sessions on the future of the Alexandra Bridge, set to be torn down and replaced over the next decade, are underway this week.
Thousands of cyclists, drivers and pedestrians cross the 120-year-old bridge between Ottawa and Gatineau each day.
“I do a loop regularly around this bridge, it’s a great walking bridge. I love how there’s room for bikes and walking,” said Ally Barich, an Ottawa resident.
The bridge between Ottawa’s Nepean point to near the Museum of History in Gatineau is one of five connecting the capital to Quebec. Built in 1898, the National Capital Commission says it is at the end of its life. Public Services and Procurement Canada says it’s falling apart in a concerning way.
“I walk on it almost every day. It’s like my daily walk, so to have to go without it would be super sad. There’s some really nice trails. It builds a connection between the cities,” said Katherine Clements, a local resident.
There are several stages of public consultation planned for the design. The first round in fall 2020 had more than 3,000 participants give feedback on planning and design. Another consultation last fall got more than 1,800 responses,
The NCC says by 2025, the process will start to find a developer with the best design. Then the final construction plan will be submitted for approval.
“There are local goals and obviously there are engineering realities,” said Mathieu Fleury, Ottawa city councillor. “We hope the engagement over the next few weeks will bring some light in terms of the review, the costing and the different options that the federal government is contemplating.”
The teardown of the bridge is scheduled to happen between 2025 and 2028. Construction is anticipated to start shortly after that, with a new bridge built by 2032.
“I have mixed feelings about that. It’s really old but it kind of has a charm to it as well,” said Jessica Trotto, an Ottawa resident.
The desire is to have a four-lane bridge with two lanes for traffic, one lane for active transportation, and one lane for public transit.
You can read more about the project on the NCC's website.