City update on major infrastructure projects

OTTAWA – As construction season winds down for 2019, city staff have shared an update on some of the city’s biggest infrastructure projects.

 “As we near the end of another busy construction season, the purpose of this memorandum is to highlight the status and progress on some of the city’s major infrastructure projects,” city staff released in a statement today (Nov. 27).” This update is in addition to the project status reports that are provided to members of council on a monthly basis to support the continued communication between the project teams and ward councillors. We appreciate the continued collaboration and support of members of council, residents and businesses during this construction season.”

Ottawa is experiencing unprecedented construction activity across many sectors.

“This is positive from an employment and economic perspective, although it has created higher inflationary pressures and competition for a limited workforce,” city staff said. “Despite these challenges, Infrastructure Services has delivered the majority of projects approved through the budget process.”

Infrastructure Services has more than 500 active projects at different stages of implementation (from initiation to warranty/closeout) with a total authority of approximately $1.5 billion. This includes the completion of projects such as the Flora Footbridge, the Chapel Hill Park and Ride, 50 parks across the city, and a $51 million road resurfacing and preservation program, which achieved significant projects such as St-Joseph Boulevard, Anderson Road, Mitch Owens Road, French Hill Road, Dunrobin Road and Rideau Valley Drive, just to name a few.

Projects that will carry over to 2020 include the resurfacing of Apollo Way (subject to coordination with utilities), culverts under the Airport Parkway northbound Walkley Road off ramp (bid exceeding budget), Vanier Parkway and Presland Road storm sewer and watermain replacement (bid exceeding budget), and Carling Avenue interim bike facility from Bayswater Avenue to Bronson Avenue (no bids received).

The following list provides the status of key major infrastructure projects spanning multiple years:

Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel (CSST)

The CSST project is a $232 million investment, with contributions from the Government of Canada ($62 million) and the Government of Ontario ($62 million). The CSST is one of the most important projects of the Ottawa River Action Plan (ORAP), which is the City of Ottawa’s roadmap to protect the Ottawa River for future generations. The CSST will greatly reduce the frequency of sewage overflows during storms from entering the Ottawa River, and will help protect the river.

The project reached a significant milestone on Sept. 23 with the completion of the 6.2-kilometre tunneling operation. Construction activities are ongoing at nine sites across the central part of the city to complete the construction of access shafts, odour control facilities, instrumentation and interconnection between the two tunnels.

The project remains on budget and is scheduled to be commissioned in 2020, as planned. The project remains on track despite challenges with the initial shaft construction at Site 10 (Chamberlain Avenue and Kent Street), challenges in final assembly and commissioning of the tunnel boring machine (TBM), and at times lower-than-expected tunneling production rates.

The date the CSST will be put into service will be confirmed in mid-2020, when the details of the commissioning process have been completed.

 Elgin Street Renewal

The renewal of Elgin Street represents a $40 million investment. Elgin Street has been closed to vehicular traffic through 2019. On Monday, Dec. 16, Elgin Street will reopen to two-way traffic. OC Transpo routes 5, 14 and 114 that were temporarily detoured during the closure will return to Elgin Street on Dec. 16 as well.

Work will resume in early 2020 with utility upgrades, including underground connections to properties and the removal of the existing wooden hydro poles along the west side of Elgin Street. This will be followed by landscaping, sidewalks, streetlights, public art installation and top lift of asphalt, so that all construction will be complete by the end of the 2020 construction season, as planned.

Ottawa Public Library-Library and Archives Canada (OPL-LAC) Joint Facility

As indicated in my memo dated Nov. 4, there has been positive momentum and progress to date. The fourth and final Inspire555 design workshop took place on Nov. 18, 19 and 20. In total, 11 public engagement workshops were held, and all sessions were full (1,100 people attended the workshops and more than 2,000 people continue to submit online comments). Members of the public have been very engaged and have helped shape the design of this new cultural facility. The design reveal is planned for early in 2020, with more details to follow. The project remains on schedule with construction contract award in 2021, construction period from 2021 to 2024, and the building’s ready for use milestone (open to the public) in late 2024.

Kanata South Link (KSL)

The KSL project represents a $40 million investment. The project includes the widening of Old Richmond Road, from Hope Side Road to West Hunt Club Road, and West Hunt Club Road, from Old Richmond Road to approximately 200 metres east of Moodie Drive, roundabouts at three intersections along Old Richmond Road (at Hope Side Road, Stonehaven Drive and West Hunt Club Road), intersection improvements at West Hunt Club Road and Moodie Drive, and asphalt resurfacing of Hope Side Road. Construction is progressing well and is expected to be completed by late fall 2020.

Montreal Road and North River Road Renewal

The renewal of Montreal Road, between North River Road and St. Laurent, and North River from Montreal Road to the north cul-de-sac, represent a $50+ million investment (funding authority identified as part of 2019 and 2020 budgets). The project involves the renewal of watermains and sewers at various locations, as well as sidewalks and segregated cycle tracks between Vanier Parkway and St. Laurent.

The project started in mid-June 2019 with utility relocation work. The main project is in the procurement phase, with award subject to 2020 budget approval. Major construction works will begin in 2020, with anticipated project completion in late 2022.

Campeau Drive Extension

The extension of Campeau Drive, between Country Glen Way and Didsbury Road, represents a $32 million investment. This project includes a four-lane road, segregated cycle lanes, sidewalks, a roundabout at Riverchase Drive, and a new bridge over the Carp River. The tender was recently awarded. Construction will begin in late 2019/early 2020 and is expected to be completed in late 2021.

Strandherd Drive Widening

The widening of Strandherd Drive, between Maravista Drive and Jockvale Road, represents a $113 million investment (approval phased over several budget cycles – 2018-2021). The project includes the widening of 3.3 kilometres from two to four lanes, cycle tracks, a grade separation at the VIA Rail crossing, the expansion of a stormwater pond, and improvements and extensions to water and sewer infrastructure.

An advanced contract with watermain work and traffic improvements started in August 2019 and is expected to be completed by the end of November 2019. The main contract will be tendered in spring 2020 when all approvals, including budget and agreements with VIA Rail Canada, are secured. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.

Harmer Avenue Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge Replacement

The Harmer Avenue Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge Replacement over Highway 417, between Maitland Avenue and Island Park Drive, represents a $13.5 million investment. Construction started in July 2018 and is expected to be completed at the end of summer 2020. The project reached a significant milestone on Oct. 19 and 20 with the successful installation of the new bridge truss over Highway 417.

Rideau Street Renewal

The renewal of Rideau Street, between Sussex Drive and Dalhousie Street, is the third and final phase of the Rideau Street Renewal project and represents a $13.5 million investment. This project includes streetscaping, segregated cycle lanes and the renewal of the William Street Plaza.

The start of construction of this project was dependent on the Confederation Line project. Construction is expected to commence in spring 2020 and will be completed at the end of 2020. To support next year’s patio season, it is expected that construction on William Street will take place in the fall of 2020.

Additional construction project information is available at Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions.