The City of Ottawa has over 12,200 lane-kilometres of road (2017 State of the Assets Report – City of Ottawa). These roads are vital to the economic health of the city and to residents, businesses and visitors.
Cuts into roads, sidewalks and pathways as part of development construction, or by the City or utility companies maintaining water, sewer, gas, hydro and telecommunications infrastructure have a serious impact on the City’s transportation network, in some instances quickening the need for replacement. For example, cuts in roads, sidewalks and pathways increase the potential for water to enter and damage infrastructure. It is important the City manage when, where and how such works are occurring as part of its comprehensive asset management, and that repairs following this work are done to City standards.
When work occurs within the right-of-way (ROW), it has an impact on mobility within communities and around the city, including disruption to morning and afternoon commutes as well as access to local businesses and residences. It is vital that the City coordinate work within the right-of-way to minimize these impacts.
The City’s Road Activity By-law is one of the tools that the City uses to:
- Regulate work within the right-of-way to control and minimize disruptions to traffic
- Provide rules for how the City’s roads, sidewalks, pathways and boulevards must be restored following this work
- Ensure people doing the work are insured and bonded
Under the Road Activity By-law, anyone needing to excavate the right-of-way must obtain a road cut permit. The by-law also requires that before any work within the right-of-way occurs, surrounding residents and businesses are notified.
A number of changes to the Road Activity By-law come into effect on July 1, 2019. Details on these changes can be found below.