National Capital Region Bridges
Budget 2019 provided funding to replace the Alexandra Bridge, to refresh studies on a 6th crossing, to develop a long-term integrated interprovincial crossing plan and to support rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of existing National Capital Region (NCR) crossings.
- The Government is committed to infrastructure safety.
- We recognize the need to improve interprovincial transportation in the National Capital Region. Budget 2019 investments will ensure vital interprovincial crossings remain safe and open for residents, visitors and businesses who rely on them.
- Public Services and Procurement Canada will support the National Capital Commission, provincial governments and municipalities as they work to develop a long-term, integrated interprovincial crossing plan.
If pressed on a 6th Crossing:
- The intention is to move forward with the planning of a new 6th crossing which will help reduce congestion, improve fluidity and increase transportation options throughout the region.
- Public Services and Procurement Canada awarded a contract to WSP Canada Group Limited to provide a concept design and costing report for a potential new crossing. The report is expected in April 2020.
If pressed on replacing the Alexandra Bridge:
- A 2018 Life Cycle Cost Analysis looked at the options for investing in the Alexandra Bridge over the long term.
- The study determined that replacing the bridge would be less disruptive to the public than trying to maintain the existing bridge, while also being more cost effective.
- Given this, Public Services and Procurement Canada has begun activities related to planning, environmental assessment and design,
- Procurement and construction of a new crossing to replace the Alexandra Bridge is expected to take 10 years.
If pressed on the program of work:
- Public Services and Procurement Canada is working closely with the National Capital Commission and the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, to ensure that federal bridges in the National Capital Region are safely and effectively serving Canadians, and that lane closures are properly co-ordinated.
If pressed on the long-term integrated interprovincial crossings plan:
- The National Capital Commission is working towards the delivery of the long-term integrated Interprovincial Crossings Plan, in collaboration with the City of Ottawa, la Ville de Gatineau, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, transit authorities, and other stakeholders.
There are five crossings in the National Capital Region. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) manages and operates Alexandra Bridge (built in 1900), Chaudière Crossing (portions built in 1828, and Union Bridge built in 1919) and Macdonald-Cartier Bridge (built in 1965). The National Capital Commission (NCC) manages and operates the Champlain Bridge and the Portage Bridge.
The five crossings are currently at full capacity at peak travel periods (average daily traffic on all crossings: 148,570 vehicles daily; 9,090 non-vehicles). Transportation studies conducted over the last ten years have consistently shown that the existing Ottawa River crossings and connecting roadways are at full capacity during morning and evening peak travel times.
Alexandra Bridge Condition
A 2017 third-party Life-Cycle Cost Assessment concluded that replacing the 118-year-old Alexandra Bridge is the most cost-effective alternative as it will have reached the end of its life span within the next ten years.
Budget 2019 announced that the Government of Canada will address the ongoing need for a 6th interprovincial crossing in the NCR. PSPC is currently working with the NCC to refresh studies. A 6th crossing would help to reduce congestion, improve fluidity and increase transportation options throughout the region.
Long Term Integrated Interprovincial Crossings Plan
Budget 2019 also announced that PSPC would be working with NCC to develop a Long Term Integrated Interprovincial Crossings Plan. The result of this Plan will be a long-term strategy with a vision and approaches for all parties to build on past successes and move forward to meet new and emerging challenges. The Plan will set long-term targets as well as provide options on how we may achieve the vision, and address the following:
- Sustainable choices of interprovincial mobility;
- Regional transition toward low-carbon and climate-resilient mobility networks/systems;
- Improving interprovincial mobility of people and “people capacity”;
- Alternatives for interprovincial heavy truck movement in the core area;
We are at the preliminary phases of Alexandra Bridge replacement and the Sixth Crossing projects.
- PSPC and the NCC are working to develop a project brief to support the environmental assessment of the Alexandra Bridge replacement.
- Thirteen studies conducted in 2013 have been refreshed and cost estimates have been updated based on refined design concepts, as well as partial costing information. Design visualization will be received in April 2020.
Other Bridge Projects
In addition to the studies and projects listed above, the government will support the rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of NCR crossings, including the Chaudière and MacDonald-Cartier bridges, by providing up to $80.4 million over 10 years.
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