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Rideau Canal Crossing (Fifth to Clegg)

Rideau Canal Crossing - Overview

Updated March 2017.

Project description

The Rideau Canal Crossing project involves the design and construction of an arched, linear multi-use pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Rideau Canal in proximity to Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street, from the boulevard west of Queen Elizabeth Driveway (on the west side of the canal) over both the Rideau Canal and Colonel By Drive to the median between Echo Drive and Colonel By (on the east side of the canal).  The new bridge will reduce distances between two important mid-town Ottawa communities and will improve access for all users of the City’s extensive network of pedestrian multi-use pathways.  

The project involves construction of an architecturally inspired arched bridge over the Rideau Canal, supported on ‘V’ columns on two new piers in the canal.  The eastern access will feature a switchback ramp and staircase, while the western access will be a curved earth fill ramp with asphalt pathway.   The existing lily pond at the west end of the bridge will be enhanced and re-aligned with the new ramp. The existing pathway will be moved closer to the canal.  

The project also includes an elliptically-shaped lookout area at the west abutment, structure illumination, and relocation of an existing water main under the canal.

The project received final NCC Board approval February 20, 2017.

Timelines

Preliminary design: Summer-Fall 2016
Detailed design and approvals: Fall 2016-Spring 2017
Tender construction contract: May 2017
Construction start: September 2017
Project substantial completion: December 2019

For more information

Richard E. Moore, P.Eng
Project Manager
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
613-580-2424, ext. 30337

Detailed design update - March 2017

During the detailed design stage feedback from residents and federal partners continued to be considered and incorporated wherever possible. These included;

  • Smoothing the slopes on the west side
  • Additional measures to beautify and restore the Lilly Pond
  • A larger rest and viewing area on the west side
  • Protecting the oak tree and improving the public space with a plaza at the east landing
  • Examining options to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge
  • Changing the railings on the East stair from solid stone to picket railings

Throughout the detailed design of the project, the City continued consulting with partners on bridge design modifications, protection of the Canal during construction and the overall restoration of the area. Some updated renderings of the bridge based on the detailed design are included below. 

See the design drawings and learn where the project is to date. 

Concept view looking northwest

A view looking northwest from Colonel By Drive.  The Canal Ritz restaurant, west access berm and bridge are visible over the east canal wall.

Concept aerial view

An oblique aerial view of the Rideau Canal with the new bridge showing the east switchback ramp/stairs and the curved ramp to the west.

Westside lookout / seating area

A view to the North taken from the west side rest area.  Typical foot traffic and a cyclist are shown.

Night view

A view to the North taken from the west side rest area.  Typical foot traffic and a cyclist are shown.

View looking northeast

An aerial perspective showing the east bridge, switch back ramp, stairs and plaza at the Colonel By and Clegg Street intersection.

Revised east stair railing detailA rendering of the revised East stair railing detail.

View looking southeast

An oblique perspective looking south east at the Lily Pond, west ramp, rest area and bridge to the mid-point of the canal.

Archaeological investigation work notice - July 2016

Beginning in the week of 18 July 2016, the City of Ottawa will undertake archaeological testing on lands on either side of the Rideau Canal at:

  • Fifth Avenue, near Queen Elizabeth Driveway,
  • Clegg Street, near Colonel By Drive 

This work is to further investigate any archaeological conditions and will support the design of the future Rideau Canal Crossing from Fifth Avenue to Clegg Street. Design of the bridge is ongoing, and construction continues to be anticipated within the second stage of the City’s Transportation Master Plan, 2020 to 2025. 

Who: Golder Associates has been retained to undertake archaeological investigation work for the project. 

Why: This preliminary work is required to support the design of a cyclist and pedestrian bridge that will cross the Rideau Canal from Fifth to Clegg. 

What: The archaeological investigation work will involve digging small pits and testing for any historical artifacts. This is a normal requirement for a project of this scope. There will be small excavation equipment present to carry out the work. 

When: The work is scheduled to start during the week of July 18, 2016 and will take about five to seven days to complete. Work may be delayed depending on weather. 

Where:  There will be work conducted on both sides of the Rideau Canal. On the west side near Fifth Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Driveway, and east near Colonel By Driveway and Clegg Street. Access to the multiuse pathways along both sides of the Canal will be maintained during this activity. 

Accessibility

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa. The City makes every effort to provide access through and around construction sites. If you require special accommodation, please contact the undersigned. 

Contact Information 

For any emergency outside normal working hours on weekdays and weekends, please call the City at 3-1-1. For further information about this project, please contact the City’s Project Manager:

Richard E. Moore, P.Eng
Project Manager
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
613-580-2424, ext. 30337

Key Facts - Public Open House 4 February 2016

Here are some key facts you should be aware of about the proposed Rideau Canal Crossing: 

  • The City of Ottawa is committed to constructing a Rideau Canal crossing at Fifth and Clegg that is in keeping with the distinctive location and historic significance of the area, allows for the continued enjoyment of the Rideau Canal in all seasons and provides important connections for cyclists and pedestrians. 
  • The Environmental Assessment (EA) was completed in 2013. A value engineering session with partners looked at ways to improve the overall constructability of the bridge. Several updates to the concept were identified, including a refined alignment, maintaining a constant deck width, using two piers instead of three and modifications to the west approach.
  • The refined concept continues to meet all of the design objectives, including, maintaining views of the Canal, protecting the Canal walls and maintaining the Lily Pond as a community feature. 
  • The project is now in preliminary design. Several outstanding questions will be addressed through this process, including landscaping, lighting, railing design and integration of bridge users. 
  • Currently, funding for construction of the crossing is forecasted to be available between 2020 and 2025. Should funding be advanced, it is currently anticipated that the earliest construction could start is Fall 2017 (Revised). 

The project team welcomes your feedback and questions. More information on the project is also available at ottawa.ca. You can also contact the project manager:

Richard E. Moore, P.Eng
Project Manager
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
613-580-2424, ext. 30337

Public Information Session Boards - 4 February 2016

Project Milestones

  • EA Study Initiation and Visioning Workshop – March 2011
  • Public Open Houses – June 2011, September 2011 and September 2012
  • Agency & Public consultation groups – May 2011, September 2011, and September 2012
  • Presentations to NCC – October 2011 and May 2012
  • EA Study Complete – January 2013
  • Value Engineering (VE) Workshop – December 2013
  • Value Engineering Recommendations – June 2014
  • Presentation of Refined Design to NCC – November 2015
  • Public Open House No. 4 – February 4, 2016

Rideau Canal at location of new 5th Avenue – Clegg St Bridge

Rideau Canal at location of new 5th to Clegg Street Bridge

Rideau Canal - Temporary Wooden Pedestrian Bridge Crossing

Rideau Canal - Temporary Wooden Pedestrian Bridge

 Design Objectives

 The bridge design should…

  • Provide both east-west and north-south connections
  • Minimize visual impact of the structure & approach ramps for drivers, pathway & canal users
  • Minimize long ramps over water and parallel to Canal banks
  • Avoid impacts to the Canal walls (a heritage feature)
  • Minimize piers in the water (maximum 2, ideally none)
  • Include integrated and continuous cycling access
  • Provide safe crossings of the Parkways
  • Be compatible with boat and skateway traffic
  • Provide universal access
  • Be in scale with its setting
  • Be as slender and light as possible within the viewscape
  • Be quiet, transparent, compact, gentle

Corkstown Pedestrian Bridge – Elevation View

Corkstown Pedestrian Bridge - Elevation View

 Value Engineering

  •  3-day workshop, December 2013
  • Identify potential design modifications to improve value and simplify constructability
  • 23 recommendations

Corkstown Pedestrian Bridge – Deck View

Corkstown Pedestrian Bridge - Deck View

 Design Team Response

  • Reviewed recommendations against design objectives
  • Accepted 13 recommendations (9 with modification)

 Recommendations – Key Themes

  •  Straighten bridge components (instead of curved)
  • Maintain constant deck width
  • Modify west approach (earth vs. structure)

An oblique aerial view of the Rideau Canal with the new bridge showing the east switchback ramp/stairs and the curved ramp to the west.

Refined Recommended Concept

site plan - A plan view showing the Rideau Canal with the new bridge and approaches connecting to Clegg Street and Fifth Avenue.

Site Plan

Elevation looking south - A cross-sectional view of the new bridge looking south.  This view illustrates the bridge height and clearances over Colonel By Drive, the navigational clearance envelope and the clearances over the pathway and lily pond at the west.

Elevation looking south

 A cross-sectional view through the bridge illustrating the supporting box girder and deck, lighting and railing configuration proposed.

Bridge deck cross-section

 An elevation view of the new bridge and western approach ramp looking south.

Western Elevation - Looking South

 An elevation view showing curved shape of the western approach ramp, lily pond and bridge looking north.

Western Elevation - Looking North 

A sectional view, looking north showing Queen Elizabeth Drive, the western access ramp, lily pond, pathway and bridge to the canal.

Western Cross-Section - Looking North

An elevation view from the ice showing the bridge, piers and eastern ramp access.

View in Winter

 Cycling Network

  •  The new Rideau Canal Crossing supports the Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan and the Ottawa Cycling Plan by enhancing east-west connectivity.

A map showing the location of the new Rideau Canal Crossing Bridge between Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street.  The map also illustrates the routes of the local cycling network as well as the Pretoria Bridge to the north and Bank Street bridge to the south.

Location map of new Rideau Canal Crossing Bridge

 Moving Forward

  • Preliminary and Detailed Design in 2016 and early 2017
  • Design issues to be resolved:
    • Pedestrian and Cyclist Connections at East / West Landings
    • Landscape Integration and Design
    • Integration / Separation of Bridge Users
    • Bridge Design Refinements
  • Construction currently scheduled after 2020; should funding become available, construction could begin as early as Fall 2017 (Revised).

 Stay Informed!

  •  Visit the project website:  Rideau Canal Crossing
  • The project team welcomes your feedback. Please fill out a comment sheet, or send questions or comments to Richard E. Moore, P.Eng., Project Manager. 

Public Information Session - 4 February 2016

You’re Invited:
Thursday, February 4, 2016
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Scotton Hall-Glebe Community Centre
175 Third Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1S 2K2

The City of Ottawa invites you to an Open House Information Session concerning the ongoing design of the footbridge project. Preliminary design drawings and architectural renderings will be on display.  A brief presentation will begin at 7p.m.  Staff will also be on hand to provide information and receive comments.  

Why: To reduce distances between two important mid-town Ottawa communities and to improve access for all users of the City’s extensive network of pedestrian multi-use pathways.  At present, this 2 kilometer section of the Rideau Canal may only be traversed by way of the Pretoria Bridge to the North and the Bank Street Bridge to the south. 

What: The plan is to construct an arched, linear multi-use pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Rideau Canal. This refined plan has received previous Federal Environmental Assessment (EA) approval in 2013.    

When:  This project is currently scheduled in Phase 2 of the City’s Transportation Master Plan for construction in 2020-2025.  Design work for the bridge is being advanced, in the event that additional funding becomes available.   

Where: Over the Rideau Canal in proximity to Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street, from the boulevard west of Queen Elizabeth Driveway (on the west side of the canal) over both the Rideau Canal and Colonel By Drive to the median between Echo Drive and Colonel By (on the east side of the canal).    

City staff and the project consultants will be on hand to discuss the current project status and respond to questions.  

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa.  If you require special accommodation, please contact the undersigned.

If you are not available to attend the meeting or would like additional information, a project website will be set up in the near future.  If your concerns are of an urgent nature, please direct your comments to the City of Ottawa or MMM Project Manager listed below.

Michel Vachon, P.Eng.
Consultant Project Manager
MMM Group Limited
1145 Hunt Club Road
Ottawa, ON K1V 0Y3
Tel: 613-736-7200, ext. 3235

Richard E. Moore, P.Eng.
Project Manager
City of Ottawa
100 Constellation Crescent
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 30337

Rideau Canal Crossing - Project History