Reimagining the historic Chaudière Crossing

For over 190 years, the Chaudière Crossing has remained a critical link between Ottawa and Gatineau. It accommodates nearly 18,000 vehicles between Gatineau and Ottawa each day. Given its age, use and exposure to the elements, the crossing needs rehabilitation.

The crossing, which includes the Union Bridge and the Hull Causeway, has been worn down through years of use. Some of the steel and concrete components are at the end of their useful life and require repair or replacement. In March of 2022, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) started a year-long project to rehabilitate portions of the Chaudière Crossing. This project is just one of many planned during the rehabilitation.

2 people talking on a platform next to a river and one of them is pointing toward the sky.
PSPC project managers at the work site. The Union Bridge and Hull Causeway are visible to the right.

The rehabilitation of the Chaudière Crossing will extend the life of the bridge and prepare it for climate-related events, all while ensuring this vital link continues to support local economic activity. In addition, the rehabilitation will contribute to the Government of Canada’s objective to encourage the development of Indigenous businesses and their workforce through federally funded opportunities, by including an Indigenous Participation Plan that will bring social and economic benefits to Indigenous communities.

A project of this magnitude requires careful preparation and close collaboration with partners. Before the project began, there were consultations with the cycling community to inform them of upcoming work and consult them on the potential design of new cycling lanes. PSPC is also working with many partners, such as the National Capital Commission, the Ontario and Quebec provincial governments, the City of Ottawa, the City of Gatineau, Energy Ottawa, as well as Zibi, which is a large development being built around the Chaudière Crossing.

A close-up of a bridge structure with a river running in the background.
The impressive current of the Ottawa River coming through the Chaudière dam can be seen through the Union Bridge beams.
Construction workers working on a bridge structure.
The extension of the Union Bridge trusses, as well as some of the beams that require replacement, are visible.

A green aspect of the rehabilitation project is the gathering of excess steam from the Kruger plant downstream to help with the heating and cooling of buildings on both sides of the crossing, with pipes running underneath the Chaudière Crossing.

Moreover, with its active and green transportation concept, the new Chaudière Crossing will provide improved safety for users, with continuous raised cycling lanes in both directions and a wider sidewalk across the entire crossing, as well as the integration of a new lighting system. This complete street concept will be done in harmony with the Zibi development project.

A rendering of a bridge, bicycle pathway and pedestrian crossing, along with vehicles, pedestrians and bikers on the move.
An artist’s rendering of the rehabilitated crossing, which will greatly improve safety and promote sustainable mobility for the surrounding communities.
A group of people looking at a bridge structure under construction.
A project manager looking at the infrastructure that will widen the crossing, as well as the pipes that will carry the steam for the Zibi development across the bridge.

This is not only the restoration of an important heritage asset, but also bridge building on a larger scale, bringing Indigenous and local communities together.

For more information, visit Chaudière Crossing: Union Bridge rehabilitation and Hull Causeway widening.

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