Bridges and crossings in the National Capital Region

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

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About the bridges and crossings

The Government of Canada owns the 5 bridges and crossings that span the Ottawa River between Ontario and Quebec.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is responsible for the:

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is responsible for the:

Portage Bridge and Champlain Bridge

The crossings are vital links between Ottawa and Gatineau. In 2017, the five crossings carried close to 150,000 vehicles and public transportation and 9,000 pedestrians and cyclists every day.

An additional National Capital Region crossing

The work for an additional crossing between Ottawa and Gatineau has spanned the last decade and more, with multiple phases and iterations of studies. The objective of these studies was to gather information on alternatives to improve interprovincial transportation capacity, including heavy commercial vehicle traffic across the Ottawa River.

Changing mobility patterns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the results of the Long-Term Integrated Interprovincial Crossings Plan highlighted the need to update residential and commercial mobility pattern data, which is now more than 10 years old. The plan was developed by the NCC in collaboration with federal, provincial and municipal partners, and in consultation with other stakeholders.

A dedicated project office was created at PSPC in fall 2021. At this stage, PSPC and the NCC are working in close collaboration to coordinate the gathering of new information to help the Government of Canada consider its options for an additional National Capital Region crossing.

Keeping bridges safe

PSPC and the NCC are working together to coordinate construction schedules to minimize the disruption of activities for each of their respective bridges.

Inspection regime

PSPC has a rigorous inspection, monitoring and intervention regime to ensure that all its bridges and crossings remain safe at all times for users. PSPC performs routine and scheduled inspections.

This includes:

  • weekly and monthly maintenance inspections
  • general inspections performed by engineers every year
  • comprehensive detailed inspections performed by engineers every 4 years
  • underwater inspections by PSPC every 4 years

If an inspection reveals any issues, PSPC takes immediate action to address and solve these matters as quickly as possible, as our top priority is the safety of all commuters.

Coordination of projects

PSPC works in coordination with the City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau, as well as with the provincial governments of Ontario and Quebec. We are constantly exploring new ways to reduce the impact of construction. PSPC is also working with the City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau to ensure that all bridges and crossings are not closed or impacted at the same time.

Lane closures

Due to ongoing maintenance and repair projects, we sometimes need to close lanes on the bridges and crossings.

For more information, please visit our web page on lane reductions and closures on interprovincial bridges in the National Capital Region to plan your commute.

Maintaining bridges

Budget 2019 announced $80.4 million over 10 years to repair and maintain the:

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