Paving the way to a more connected Ottawa

Published on
June 7, 2024
Home and community
Parking, roads, traffic and transit
Planning, development and construction

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Feature story

Construction season in Ottawa has started, so what’s there to celebrate? We know the sights and sounds that sometimes come with it can feel like a never-ending source of frustration. Yet, beneath the surface inconveniences, these infrastructure and construction projects hold the promise of transformative benefits for our city.

With a population of over one million residents, we need to ensure our infrastructure can keep up with the demands of our growing population. Whether we are resurfacing roads, upgrading aging sewers, building bridges, rehabilitating facilities or improving parks – all of these projects make our city more liveable and contribute to the quality of life of all residents.

By investing in the renewal, improvement and growth of our infrastructure today, we are laying the groundwork for a future where reliable, safe, and accessible mobility options seamlessly connect our communities for generations to come.

Construction by the numbers

The City is responsible for approximately $73 billion in infrastructure, and with a land mass 4.4 times the size of the City of Toronto, we have to consider our unique urban, suburban and rural needs. This year alone, Ottawa City Council has approved over $600 million in infrastructure investments. Here’s a look at how some of the funds are being spent:

Alt text: Info graphic detailing the 2024 investments in infrastructure, including $68.7 million for road rehabilitation, $38.7 million for structures and bridges, $63.2 million for buildings and parks, $9.4 million for sidewalks and pathways, $163.6 million for integrated road-water-sewer, $15.2 million for culverts, $62.6 million for drinking water treatment and infrastructure, and $43.3 million at wastewater treatment plant (ROPEC).

There are hundreds of new and active infrastructure projects across the city, at various stages of implementation, all working towards the same goal. Below are a few we think just maybe, you could get excited about.

Structures and bridges

The MacKenzie King Bridge Renewal project will rehabilitate three of the four bridge structures (from Elgin Street to Nicholas Street) which make up this important bridge spanning across the Rideau Canal between the National Arts Centre and CF Rideau Centre.

Highlights for the final revitalized bridge will include two vehicle lanes with dedicated, raised cycle tracks and a widened sidewalk for added safety between pedestrians and cyclists.

The finished infrastructure will also include beautified streetscape features that will transform it into a more enjoyable and safe location to take in Ottawa's scenic views. The streetscape will include LED street lighting, waste receptables, bike rings/racks, accessible stools, and benches.

Work on the MacKenzie King Bridge is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

Rendering of a finished Mackenzie King Bridge over the Rideau Canal with cars crossing, cyclists and pedestrians using the pathways, and a boat in the canal below.

Pictured: Rendering of a finished Mackenzie King Bridge over the Rideau Canal facing east.

We are also working on the new Rideau River Bridge Crossing at Carleton University, a highly anticipated active transportation bridge over the Rideau River, south of the O-Train Trillium line bridge, providing a cycling and walking connection from the National Capital Commission (NCC’s) Rideau River Eastern Pathway to the Carleton University Campus and pathways in the vicinity of Hartwell Locks.

This new structure will provide a safe and accessible connection for all users and will become a primary link for local residents and the City’s active transportation network on both sides of the river. Good news on this one, it is expected to open this summer!

Road rehabilitation and integrated projects

The City is committed to effective and safe mobility for all users, which includes improvements to our roadways, sidewalks, pathways, and cycling networks.

Just one example of this is the Hunt Club Road and Riverside Drive Intersection Modifications, a project designed to improve intersection safety and operations.

Construction at this busy intersection will begin this year and some of the improvements planned will include a new northbound cycle track and bike boxes at all four corners of the Hunt Club Road at Riverside Drive intersection, which will drastically improve cycling access and safety.

Additionally, extension of the length of the northbound left-turn lane, through the Market Place intersection, will add capacity, and the introduction of a new median to channelize the northbound right-turn lane, will streamline merging and create a safer intersection overall.

Bank Street is also getting significant investments with construction starting this summer on two multi-year projects planned to upgrade aging infrastructure and improve connectivity for all users.

The Bank Street Widening and Reconstruction project in the Findlay Creek community will see the two-kilometre stretch of Bank Street, from south of Leitrim Road to south of Blais Road, widened from two to four lanes.

The Bank Street Renewal project at Billings Bridge will see critical infrastructure improvements between Riverside Drive and Ledbury Avenue.

Both projects will include the installation, rehabilitation and/or replacement of various components of the underground infrastructure including watermains and sanitary and storm sewers.

The projects will also include the rehabilitation of streetscape elements including raised medians, new sidewalks, cycle tracks, transit accesses, updated street lighting, traffic signals, and more.

Once complete, these sections of Bank Street will become well-balanced multi-modal transportation networks that provide a functional, safe and an accessible arterial main street that will cater to vehicles, transit, cyclists and pedestrians.

Rendering of the finished Bank Street renewal facing north at the intersection of Bank Street and Randall street, with cars driving, cyclists and pedestrians using the pathways, and red public transit bus stopped at a bus stop.

Pictured: Rendering of the finished Bank Street renewal facing north at the intersection of Bank Street and Randall Street.

Stage 2 LRT (O-Train Construction)

Work is well underway on the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Construction Project, which will continue to transform our city’s transit system. As the year unfolds, the project will continue to make great progress hitting many milestones.

The O-Train East Extension has made great progress with all five stations advancing well and scheduled to be commissioned this year. This year, residents will see the completion of major road works, including Montreal Road, Jeanne d’Arc Boulevard, and final Highway 174 paving from Champlain to east of Trim Road. Testing and commissioning of the vehicles began earlier this year and will continue to expand.

Aerial view of first train testing on the O-Train East Extension, Line 1, on the track at nighttime in winter with snow on the ground.

Pictured: First train testing on the O-Train East Extension, Line 1.

This year is also a big one for the O-Train South Extension (Lines 2 and 4) as we prepare to open the system to the public. Crews are completing finishing works on the stations and testing and commissioning is ramping up with longer hours running 7-days a week.

Aerial view of train testing at Airport Station on Line 4 at Ottawa International Airport in the summer with blue skies.

Pictured: Train testing at Airport Station on Line 4.

Your city, your ideas!

We want to hear from you! We know that more can be done to improve our infrastructure to offer effective mobility services in the city. Do you have ideas on how we can serve you better and more efficiently when it comes to the services that will make our city more connected? It’s your city and your ideas. Share them at

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