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Chief William Commanda Bridge multi-use pathway and rehabilitation project

Project Status: 

Project overview

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Project Description

The City of Ottawa is undertaking an Environmental Assessment (EA) study and further the design for a multi-use pathway on the Chief William Commanda Bridge, as approved by Council on December 9, 2020.

The project consists of the construction of a multi-use pathway (MUP) on the existing inactive and retained Chief William Commanda rail bridge. The scope of work will include some structural repair work, deck modifications to create the pathway surface, railings, and work on the approaches and bridge lighting. All the work will be designed to the Ontario Highway Bridge Design Code and constructed to City of Ottawa standards and specifications.

Significant permits and approvals are also required prior to proceeding to construction and will be obtained during the EA and design process. Timing for construction has not been confirmed. Currently the Chief William Commanda Bridge is closed to public use as it is unsafe for pedestrian or recreational use. The City of Ottawa maintains the structure and performs periodic inspections and evaluations to assess the condition and ensure the integrity of the bridge.

The general project limits for this EA Study are on the map below.

This is an image of the location of the Prince of Wales bridge, total crossing length of 989 metres between the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau on the O-Train Trillium Line.

Environmental Assessment (EA) Study Notice of Completion

The study has been undertaken in accordance with the requirements of a Schedule B project as outlined in the Municipal Class EA (2000), as amended in 2007, 2011 and 2015. As required by the Class EA process, public, agency and Indigenous consultation was undertaken. An on-line Public Information Event was held on February 22, 2021 for stakeholders to provide input on the project. The EA Study recommended the addition of an interim multi-use pathway to the existing Chief William Commanda Bridge deck.

The EA report has been completed to document the planning process undertaken to date. The EA report is available for public review for a period of 30 days, starting April 6, 2021.

COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation and the City of Ottawa is committed to protecting people and the community. In an effort to make the EA report more readily available, the report is available below.

Executive summary

EA Report

The complete report, including the appendices is available at the City’s Central Library located at 120 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa ON K1P 5M2 or by contacting Lei Gong, Project Manager.

History of the Chief William Commanda Bridge

The Chief William Commanda Bridge is an existing, out of service railway bridge, that crosses the Ottawa River between the City of Ottawa (Ontario) and the City of Gatineau (Québec) on the O-Train Trillium Line. The Chief William Commanda Bridge was constructed in 1879 and the superstructure was reconstructed in 1926. The bridge is formed by two structures (north and south) separated by an island – comprised of six spans in the south structure and seven spans in the north structure. The clear width of the structure is approximately 5 m carrying one track only. The total crossing length is 989 meters.

The City of Ottawa purchased the currently out of service railway bridge from Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 2005 for a future, longer-term transit crossing. The Chief William Commanda Bridge is being retained as a future rail transit bridge in the City’s Three-Year Rail Network Plan as filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency. In 2013, the Bridge was been identified as a future “Major Pathway” in the City’s Transportation Master Plan and is identified in the Ottawa Cycling Plan Affordable Cycling Project List.

Anticipated Project Schedule

Design and Environmental Assessment: winter 2020/2021
Final Design: spring 2021
Construction: to be determined, pending budget and permits approval

Project budget

The approved funds for the environmental assessment and design are estimated to be approximately $540,000.

The project cost is estimated at approximately $10.5 million,

Public engagement

The City of Ottawa has a proactive communication approach to dealing with construction projects and potential impacts to the public. As part of the City’s construction project process, various opportunities to share information will be used, including updates on, e-newsletter and Public Service Announcements.

An online public information session was held between February 22 and March 8, 2021 to present and seek additional input on the EA study and design.


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 City’s Project Manager.


COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation and the City of Ottawa is committed to protecting people and the community. The Province of Ontario has allowed certain businesses and workplaces, including all municipal construction projects, to continue operations subject to compliance with strict public health and safety protocols. The City is working closely with the industry and complying with restrictions and recommendations provided by municipal, provincial and federal health officials, as well as the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

For further information or to provide comments, please contact the City’s project manager.

Contact information

For any emergency outside normal working hours on weekdays and weekends, call the City at 3-1-1.Should you have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact:

City Project Manager:
Lei Gong, PhD, P.Eng.
Senior Engineer
Design and Construction - Municipal
100 Constellation Drive, Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8
Tel.: 613-580-2424 ext. 22738

Online Engagement Opportunity

Thursday, February 18, 2021, 2:41 pm
Last updated: 
Thursday, April 8, 2021, 9:03 am

Dates & Times

Monday, February 22, 2021, 12:00 am to Monday, March 8, 2021, 11:45 pm

The City of Ottawa continues to take precautionary steps to protect members of the public. As an alternative to hosting in-person public information sessions, information is being posted to The City remains committed to keeping the public informed of projects occurring in your neighbourhood.

The City of Ottawa invites you to review and provide comments on the Prince of Wales Bridge Interim Multi-Use Pathway by March 8, 2021. Information can be submitted by email or by phone to the City’s project manager named below.

Project display boards [ 4.29 MB ]

For further information about this project and/or to submit comments on the project, please contact the City project manager:

Lei Gong, PhD, P.Eng.
Senior Engineer, Infrastructure Services
Design and Construction - Municipal
100 Constellation Drive, Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
Tel: 613 580-2424, ext. 22738