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The City of Ottawa has identified a requirement for the rehabilitation and/or replacement of portions of its underground infrastructure along Albert Street, Queen Street, Slater Street, and Bronson Avenue.
The project limits include:
- Albert Street from Empress Avenue to Bay Street
- Queen Street from Bronson Avenue to Bay Street
- Slater Street from Empress Avenue to Bay Street
- Bronson Avenue from Queen Street to Laurier Avenue
The project will include the replacement of portions of the existing sewers, roads, and watermains as well as the rearrangement and reconstruction of the street right-of-way in accordance with the results of the Albert and Slater Streets Post Light Rail Transit (LRT) Repurposing Functional Design Study that was approved by Council of the City of Ottawa in 2018. The streets will follow the complete street framework, in which physical elements will be incorporated if possible into the design such that streets offer safety, comfort and mobility for all users.
Why: The City is renewing the underground infrastructure to improve performance of our sewers and to improve the reliability of the water distribution system. The inclusion of integrated requirements for accessibility, pedestrian movements, cycling facilities, and bus transit requirements align with the direction provided by the City’s Accessibility Design Standards and the City’s Official Plan, and the City’s Downtown Moves master plan.
Where: The project includes Albert Street, Queen Street, Slater Street from Empress Avenue to Bay Street and Bronson Avenue from Queen Street to Laurier Avenue.
Who: The City of Ottawa has retained the design consulting firm, Parsons Corporation, to develop the design for the reconstruction of Albert Street/Queen Street/Slater Street from Empress Avenue to Bay Street and Bronson Avenue from Queen Street to Laurier Avenue Project. Aecon Construction Ontario East was retained as the contractor to undertake the work.
The current project schedule is as follows:
- Design completion: fall 2021
- Utilities relocations: summer/fall 2021and winter/spring 2022
- Construction start: spring 2022
- Construction end: late 2024
Approved project funds to date: approximately $43.7 million
During the 2022 construction season, the focus will be on the replacement of underground infrastructure and road reconstruction on Albert and Slater streets between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street; and on Bronson Avenue between Albert and Slater streets.
This work began in the spring of 2022 and is to be completed by late 2024.
On-street parking and local access
As the various road reconstruction activities are in progress, on-street parking will be restricted. Local access will be maintained to residents, business owners and emergency vehicles.
Periodically, vehicular access to your property may be unavailable; the Contractor is required to provide 24-hour notification of temporary loss of vehicular access/egress to your property. A temporary On-Street Parking Permit will be made available to allow on-street parking within two blocks of your residence when these disruptions occur.
Impact on the right of way and adjacent private properties
The reconstruction is within the City’s right of way but may result in some disruption to part of the private property directly adjacent to the work. The City will reinstate sections of landscaping, driveways and walkways that are disturbed by construction.
The Contractor will take every precaution to minimize interruptions to the everyday life of your family and/or operation of your business, but, as you can appreciate, there may be some inconvenience during the work, such as traffic delays, noise and dust. You may also feel vibrations due to heavy equipment operations. Vibrations from construction activities are quite common and rarely cause any problems. We would like to thank you for your patience and co-operation.
Temporary water services
During the replacement of the watermain, water will be supplied to buildings by temporary water lines. While your property will be on this temporary service, your water usage will be estimated as the temporary service is not metered. Your water bill will be based on the past average water usage for your address. If you have any questions, please contact Revenue at 613-580-2444 or WS-Billing@ottawa.ca.
Municipal fire suppression will continue during the construction period. Please note that private fire suppression systems may be impacted. Temporary water is provided for domestic consumption purposes only. If you have a private fire suppression system, it is recommended that you make arrangements with a fire protection services company in order to determine the extent of any impact. For information on minimizing your fire risk contact the City’s Fire Services at 613-580-2424 ext. 15371 (East) or ext. 15372 (West).
We apologize in advance for any disruptions in water service during construction. Any problems with the temporary water services can be directed to the City’s on-site representative or call the City of Ottawa at 3-1-1 in the evenings or weekends.
Tree removal and planting
There are over 100 trees proposed to be planted as part of the Albert, Queen, Slater, Bronson reconstruction project and the Ādisōke (Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility) project combined. The new trees will include several hearty salt-resistant species that will contribute to the urban forest and provide shade and respite from the urban environment. As discussed during the Albert, Queen, Slater, Bronson reconstruction consultation phase, this project also includes the removal of select trees.
A total of approximately 100 existing trees are either in direct conflict with the proposed road realignment, cycle tracks or sidewalks, and must be removed.
Beginning in early April 2022, approximately 25 trees that conflict with this year’s construction on Albert and Slater streets between Empress Avenue and Bay Street, and along Bronson Avenue between Laurier Avenue and Queen Street, will be removed. The tree removals will be staged, and the removal of additional trees will be communicated as the project advances.
Tree replacement is being provided at a 1:1 replacement level and there will also be approximately 17,250 additional perennials and ornamental grasses planted. Of the new trees, a portion of them will be planted in soil cells located within the right-of-way or within the boulevard. A soil cell is a modular building block (resembles a plastic milk crate) used to contain healthy soil beneath a hard asphalt and/or concrete surface. The soil cells will support the cycle track and sidewalk loads and are filled with high-quality, uncompacted soil that allows the tree roots to spread out and grow. The system includes irrigation pipes to aid in watering trees and providing sufficient air circulation. Overall, the soil cells promote healthy tree root growth, longevity and increase their likelihood of trees surviving in an urban environment.
Photo: A typical underground soil cell which allows healthy tree roots growth under a hard surface.
The City of Ottawa Noise By-law (2017-255) allows construction activity to occur weekdays between 7 am and 10 pm. On Saturdays, work is permitted between 7 am and 10 pm, while Sunday and statutory holiday work is allowed between 9 am and 10 pm. If work needs to occur outside of the Noise By-law, an exemption request will be approved, and timing for the planned work will be communicated to affected residents in advance.
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 a disability-related accommodation, please contact the project team listed below. Accessible formats and communication supports are available, upon request.
The City of Ottawa, in its commitment to protecting people and the community, continues to work closely with the industry and to comply with recommendations provided by municipal, provincial and federal health officials, as well as the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
For any emergency outside normal working hours on weekdays and weekends, call the City at 3-1-1.
For further information, please contact the project team or alternatively, the City Project Manager:
City Project Manager
Patrick Duquette, P.Eng.
Senior Engineer, Infrastructure Projects
100 Constellation Drive, Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
Tel.: 613-580-2424, ext. 16038
City On-Site Representatives
Trent Bowden, C.E.T.
City of Ottawa, Inspector
Brett Hayes, C.E.T.
City of Ottawa, Inspector
Marc Proulx, C.E.T.
Travis Jones, P.Eng., Project Manager
Aecon Construction Ontario East
Stephen Zeggil, Site Superintendent
Aecon Construction Ontario East
Ongoing traffic impacts
The following traffic impacts are currently ongoing until approximately the end of November 2022:
- Albert and Slater streets are reduced to a single lane between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street. Sidewalks on both streets will be closed one at a time and localized detours will be in place.
- Bronson Avenue is reduced to a single northbound lane between Slater and Albert streets.
- Commissioner Street is reduced to a single southbound lane between Albert and Slater streets. The cycle track on Commissioner Street remains open throughout construction.
The City is committed to working with the community throughout the duration of this project.
Traffic impacts related to this reconstruction project can also be found on slides 24 and 25 in the November 2021 public presentation.
Project update (November 2022)
Construction on Albert Street, Bronson Avenue and Slater Street is winding down for the year and preparations have begun for winter conditions.
A substantial amount of underground and aboveground work was completed this year. Here are some 2022 highlights:
- Albert Street between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street – Completed the installation of the storm sewer, sanitary sewer, watermain and catch basins, including temporary connections which will keep the system operational during the winter months
- Slater Street between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street – Completed the installation of the sanitary sewer, watermain, catch basins and approximately 150 meters of the storm sewer, including temporary connections which will keep the system operational through winter shutdown. Due to slower than anticipated progress with rock excavation, approximately 100 metres of storm sewer will be constructed in 2023.
- Bronson Avenue between Albert and Slater streets – Completed the installation of the watermain and construction of the road widening
2023 construction season
Looking forward to the 2023 construction season, the project will focus on the following areas:
- Albert Street between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street – Complete surface works including new curbs, sidewalks, cycle tracks, bus stop, road construction and paving
- Slater Street between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street – Complete remaining storm sewer installation and connect into the Bay Street intersection, complete surface works including new curbs, sidewalks, cycle tracks, bus stop, signalized intersection at Bay, road construction and paving
- Albert Street between Empress and Bronson avenues – Complete underground infrastructure replacement including sanitary sewer, storm sewer and watermain replacement as well surface works including new curbs, sidewalks, cycle tracks, two eastbound bus stops, signalized intersection at Empress, road construction and paving
- Bronson Avenue between Laurier Avenue West and Slater Street – Complete the installation of the watermain and surface works including new curbs, sidewalks, road construction and paving
- Bronson Avenue between Albert and Queen streets – Complete the installation of storm sewer and sanitary sewer
- Queen Street between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street – Complete the installation of storm sewer and sanitary sewer
Upcoming tree removals
Beginning the week of Monday, November 28, the second stage of the planned tree removals will take place. These removals will take place along the Slater Street retaining wall, west of Bronson Avenue, and on Bronson Avenue between Slater Street and Laurier Avenue.
The removals are required in order to construct the new alignment of Slater Street, to facilitate the construction of a wider sidewalk on Bronson Avenue between Slater Street and Laurier Avenue, and are also being removed in conjunction with the Ādisōke library project.
There are over 100 trees proposed to be planted as part of the Albert, Queen, Slater, Bronson reconstruction project and the Ādisōke project combined. The new trees will include several hearty salt-resistant species, and a portion of them will be planted in soil cells. A soil cell is a modular building block, which resembles a plastic milk crate. It is used to contain healthy soil beneath asphalt and/or concrete surfaces. Soil cells are filled with high-quality, uncompacted soil that allows the tree roots to spread out and grow.
Additional information on the tree removal and compensation program as part of the Albert, Queen, Bronson and Slater project was communicated in March 2022 via the newsletter and project webpage.
Winter conditions for motorists and transit
Beginning in mid-December, the two lanes and sidewalks on Albert and Slater streets between Bronson Avenue and Bay Street will reopen for the winter period.
The Reconstruction of Albert Street, Queen Street, Slater Street from Empress Avenue to Bay Street and Bronson Avenue from Queen Street to Laurier Avenue project has held several online engagement opportunities.
The City of Ottawa invited residents to review and provide comments in November 2021, January 2021, and June 2020.
Online engagement opportunity (November 2021)
The presentation from the online engagement session held on November 23, 2021 is linked below. Residents were encouraged to provide feedback by December 7, 2021.
Online engagement opportunity (January 2021)
In January 2021, residents were provided the opportunity to review project details and provide feedback by January 27, 2021. The project display boards and roll plan are linked below.
Online engagement opportunity (June 2020)
In June 2022, residents were provided the opportunity to review project details and provide feedback between June 16 – 30, 2020. The project display boards and draft design drawings are linked below.