Bridges and crossings in the National Capital Region

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About the bridges and crossings

The Government of Canada owns the five bridges and crossings that traverse 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 9,000 pedestrians and cyclists every day.

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 four years
  • underwater inspections by PSPC every four 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

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

Lane closures

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

Visit lane reductions and closures on interprovincial bridges in the National Capital Region to plan your travel.

Maintaining bridges

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

  • Chaudiere Crossing
  • Alexandra Bridge
  • Macdonald-Cartier Bridge

A plan for bridges and crossings

Budget 2019 also committed to developing a long-term, integrated plan for the interprovincial crossings. This plan looks to add in the changes, including Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit, that have been made since the NCC published the last plan in 2013.

The plan will integrate with other previously made plans. By doing this we hope to:

  • increase the benefits of sustainable and well-connected multimodal transportation
  • reduce traffic congestion
  • promote sustainable interprovincial truck movement

Through a shared vision and strategic collaboration, this plan aims to augment the quality of integrated interprovincial transport and sustainable mobility for the next 30 years. The National Capital Commission is leading the plan and will work with:

  • Indigenous groups
  • the Ontario provincial government
  • the Quebec provincial government
  • the City of Gatineau
  • the City of Ottawa
  • PSPC

Study for a new bridge

As mandated in the 2019 federal budget, we are refreshing technical studies previously undertaken by the NCC to address new information, including:  

  • new transportation data
  • updated air quality modelling techniques
  • land use and property plans
  • other socio-economic data

The refresh of the studies does not include a recommendation for a specific corridor.

The refresh of the 2013 studies considered only technical elements of a potential sixth interprovincial crossing. It pertained to eight technical reports on the three interprovincial crossing locations previously identified as having the most potential.

These refreshed technical studies will inform any future considerations of this project. Further planning work would include an impact assessment that provides for comprehensive consultations with the public and stakeholders. It will also leverage the results of the long-term integrated interprovincial crossing plan.

More information

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