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Strandherd Drive is being widened to a four-lane cross section from Maravista Drive to Jockvale Road in Barrhaven. This is a major and complex infrastructure project and a significant investment in Barrhaven.
The project is approximately 3.3 kilometres in length. It will provide capacity for existing and future traffic volumes during peak periods and facilitate the movement of cyclists and pedestrians through the corridor as well as provide the underground infrastructure to support growth.
This project includes:
- improvements and extensions to watermain and sewers
- the construction of two temporary road detours
- widening Strandherd Drive to four lanes
- cycle tracks in both directions
- a grade separation over the existing VIA Rail line (vehicular bridge over the tracks)
Strandherd Widening Roll Plan [ 17.2 MB ]
To support new development south of Strandherd Drive, the project also includes the expansion and retrofit of the Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility to improve water quality. A multi-use pathway will also be constructed throughout the stormwater pond limits and will include a new pedestrian bridge.
Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility Retrofit [ 11.6 MB ]
Anticipated project timing
Construction start: summer 2020
Construction completion: fall 2023
The estimated total projected budget for the Strandherd Drive widening is approximately $113 million.
The total project budget for the Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility Retrofit is $15.8 million.
Public involvement and 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 Ottawa.ca, Public Service Announcements and Social Media.
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 general project information, please email the project team or contact the City’s Project Manager.
Josée Vallée, P.Eng.
Senior Engineer, Infrastructure Projects
City of Ottawa
Infrastructure & Water Services
Design and Construction - Municipal
100 Constellation Drive, 6th Floor West, Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 21805
Project update (December 2022)
We are excited to announce that we will open additional sections of lanes over the newly constructed bridge and along the entire project later this week for a full opening before Christmas!
Please note that we will return in spring 2023 to complete the sidewalks, cycle tracks, traffic signals, landscaping, top lift of asphalt, pavement markings, signs, etc. which will require some lane closures. Also, there may be some short duration lane closures over the winter for various minor works.
Thank you to residents and the travelling public for your patience over the 2022 construction season. Happy Holidays!
New public art selected for Strandherd Drive
Artist Brandon Vickerd has been awarded the public art commission project for the Strandherd Drive widening project. His public art installation, A state of rest, will be installed in the park area adjacent to Haven Baptist Church, and in the neighbouring Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility.
A state of rest consists of four sculpture/bench combinations, each featuring the form of a wild animal rendered in bronze and installed as if it is sleeping on a concrete bench. A state of rest is about encouraging visitors to pause and reflect on their own relationship to nature while humorously referencing the stereotype of the ‘sleepy suburbs.’ The animals depicted will be a red fox, a gray squirrel, a doe (whitetail deer) and a racoon, all of which are native to the Barrhaven region. The artwork is intended to create a sense of discovery and awe in the viewer by providing a visual reminder that the reality of our expanding cityscapes results in a surrounding suburban landscape that is shared with nature.
In keeping with the City’s Public Art Policy, the City’s Public Art Program initiated a two-stage public art competition for the Strandherd Drive Widening project. Proposals were reviewed by a Peer Assessment committee, who selected Brandon Vickerd’s proposal based on evaluation criteria that included such considerations as artistic excellence, experience of the artist, site integration, reflection of the profile and character of the community and sustainability.
For more information about the new public art, visit ottawa.ca/arts or email email@example.com.
Vibrations and Frequently Asked Questions
Construction activities and heavy equipment associated with the Strandherd Drive Widening project and the Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Retrofit project will produce low intensity ground vibrations. This is quite common and typical observed vibrations are unlikely to cause damage to adjacent structures. The vibrations are more noticeable in this part of Barrhaven because the clay soils in the area tend to carry vibrations further from the source.
Human Perception vs. Potential for Building Damage
It is important to note that people and buildings react differently to vibration. While a person might be able to feel vibrations, it does not mean that damage to building elements has occurred. Although tolerance levels vary considerably, people are much more sensitive to vibrations than buildings. A person may be able to feel vibrations that are 50 times less than the level of vibration typically estimated to cause damage to a building or its structural components. Construction vibrations expected under this project are more of a nuisance than a cause of property damage. The vibrations are not expected to reach the levels that can cause damages to homes or buildings.
In recognition of the potential for production of vibrations from the construction work, the City has implemented a vibration monitoring program to monitor construction induced vibration levels. Vibration monitors have been installed at adjacent properties within close proximity to the construction site. The vibrations are monitored on a continuous basis and the contractor is required to carry out the work in a manner to keep the vibrations, as monitored by the instruments, below acceptable levels. The acceptable threshold of vibration levels for this project is very conservative and are in line with the industry standards to prevent damage to nearby properties and homes.
People (and animals) are very perceptive to a small amount of vibration. However, without scientific instruments (seismographs), people cannot accurately place a value on the amount of vibration generated. Human perception of vibration is around a peak particle velocity (PPV) of between 0.2 mm/s and 0.5 mm/s. By comparison, the industry accepted PPV for residential structures is 50 mm/s for frequencies above 40 Hz. A door slamming, thunderstorm activity and wind all produce vibrations that we feel but are ignored since these are “everyday” events. The acceptable PPV levels for this project were set at 5 mm/s for frequencies less than 10 Hz and 5 mm/s to 45 mm/s for frequencies between 10 Hz and 40 Hz (sliding log scale).
Pre-construction surveys were offered to homeowners with a building or structure within 30 meters of the work zone. The objective of the pre-construction surveys is to document the state of the buildings and structures prior to commencement of construction for the purpose of documenting a baseline and resolving possible claims by residents or building owners located in the vicinity of the construction site. If you are more than 30 meters from the work zone and you are concerned about vibration damage, you may wish to complete your own pre-construction condition survey of your property. Your survey should include dated photographs and / or video. Construction will be ongoing until the fall of 2023. It is not too late to complete a pre-construction survey.
Cracks Do Not Equal Damage
Cosmetic cracks do not necessarily mean there is structural damage. The average person is not aware of the stresses that a home in Canada must endure. The Building Code requires that homes be designed to be flexible to try and accommodate these stresses. There are many reasons for appearance of cracks. Shortly after a new building is constructed, cracks may appear due to drying of construction materials. In older buildings, cracks often occur as a result of extreme environmental conditions or simply aging materials. They may also occur due to the building settling and adjusting to external forces caused by environmental factors.
The foundation is the strongest part of a house. Ground vibrations intense enough to crack foundations consisting of concrete and masonry would have to greatly exceed the accepted vibration levels for this project.
Suggestions to the Homeowner
To reduce the frustration from construction vibration you may wish to:
- Separate items in china cabinets or other display cases;
- Place tissue paper between stacked dishes such as cups and saucers;
- Ensure that furniture is not touching the walls of the home; and,
- Check picture frames and wall-hangings to ensure they are secure.
We thank residents and homeowners for their continued patience during the construction period.
For any emergency outside normal working hours, please call the City at 3-1-1.
For general project information, visit the City website at ottawa.ca/strandherdwidening or contact the City’s Project Manager.
City Project Manager
Josée Vallée, P.Eng.
Design and Construction - Municipal
Tel.: 613-580-2424, ext. 21805
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Are construction induced vibrations worse in the winter?
A1: Soil conditions, particularly the frost layer in winter and the level of ground water table, may influence the level of induced vibrations. However, the extent of this influence is not clear. In a study of vibrations induced by buses in Winnipeg, Sutherland (1950) reported that vibrations measured in winter, while the topsoil was frozen, were significantly less than those measured in summer. On the other hand, subway-induced vibrations in buildings that were measured more recently in Toronto were found to be slightly higher in winter (while the topsoil was frozen) than in summer. Officials of many cities in Canada indicate that vibration complaints are more frequent during the thaw period in spring than in other seasons.
Construction induced vibrations may vary depending on the soil conditions at any given time of the year. However, vibrations dissipate at a rapid rate as they radiate out from the source (i.e. construction site). In order to mitigate and control these vibrations, monitors have been installed at several properties within close proximity to the construction site to ensure that vibration levels are within the project limits at all times.
Q2: Does the duration of vibration have an impact on the likelihood of building damage?
A2: If the vibrations remain under the accepted levels, building damage is unlikely, regardless of the vibration duration.
Q3: Why aren’t you using smaller equipment to reduce vibrations?
A3: For some work, using smaller equipment is not an option. For other works, using smaller equipment is possible but the construction would take much longer. The City has selected the vibration limits to allow the contractor to carry out the work within a reasonable time period while minimizing the potential for damage to homes. The City is monitoring vibrations to keep them within acceptable limits, while trying to balance the need to minimize the construction duration and, by extension, the length of construction disruption to residents of the adjacent neighbourhoods.
Q4: Could I get the results of the vibration monitoring?
A4: Because the vibration monitoring is continuous and includes multiple monitoring points, the amount of data collected is extensive and not practical to share. The highest vibration level of a specific date and location can be shared if requested.
Q5: What do I do if I find damage?
A5: The General Contractor, Thomas Cavanagh Construction Limited is required by the City to carry liability insurance for this project and is assuming full responsibility for the construction work, including any proven related damages. If you find damage, email your claim to Russ Perry with a description of the damage, photos and contact information.