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McIlraith Bridge Rehabilitation

Project Status: 
Underway

Overview

The project involves the rehabilitation of the McIlraith Bridge.  The work includes the addition of bike lanes, seismic upgrades, waterproofing and paving of the bridge, sidewalk repairs, abutment repairs, expansion joint repairs, localized painting of steel girders and bird screen protection installation. 

Timelines

Detail design - 2010 to 2014
Construction - 2015 to 2016 

For more information

Lei Gong, P.Eng.
Infrastructure Services
City of Ottawa
100 Constellation Drive, 6th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
Tel: 613-580-2424, ext. 22738
Fax: 613-560-6064

Traffic control on Riverside Drive and Noise By-Law exemption – September 2016

Sand blasting and coating work on the McIlraith Bridge at the span over Riverside Drive will start on September 19, 2016. The work will be carried out during night for approximately 6 weeks.

Who: The City of Ottawa Contractor, R.W. Tomlinson, will complete the work.

Why:  In order to mitigate the risk of illegal over-sized truck impacting the scaffolding over Riverside Drive and ensure worker’s safety, the sand blasting and coating work will be carried out at night. Riverside Drive at the bridge section will be closed at night and the traffic will be detoured via the ramps with some modification at the intersection of Smyth Road and four-way stop signs to facilitate the traffic control. The traffic control will be reinstated during daytime without any impact to the daytime traffic.  The noise part of the work is sand blasting which will take up to 11 days. Noise exemptions will be applied according to the City of Ottawa Noise By-law.

When: Traffic control at night will start on September 19, 2016 for approximately 6 weeks. The noise by-law exemption will take up to 11 days.

Where: McIlraith Bridge is located on Main Street connecting Smyth Road over the Rideau River and Riverside Drive.

Accessibility

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 Contract Administrator or Contractor’s representative.

Contact information

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 course of the operation of the work, such as delays and traffic detours when travelling through the construction zone, noise, dust and vibration.  We would like to thank you for your patience and co-operation.

Lei Gong, PhD, P.Eng.
Senior Engineer
Design and Construction - Municipal East
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
100 Constellation Drive
Ottawa, ON  K2G 6J8
Tel: (613) 580-2424, ext. 22738

Contractor’s representative:
Rob Dollimont, Project Manager
R.W. Tomlinson
Tel: (613) 822-1867

Contract administrator:
Patrick Mergel, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Parsons
Tel: (613) 691-1564

Update on pedestrian and cycling pathway – March 2016

Concrete repairs on the McIlraith Bridge at the west abutment (Main Street side) started on November 30, 2015. During this work, the pathway under the bridge between Rideau Garden Drive and the roundabout of Rideau River Drive has been closed due to safety. The pathway will be re-opened on April 1, 2016. The pathway will need to re-close for approximately three weeks during the months of July or August 2016.

Who: The City of Ottawa Contractor, R.W. Tomlinson, will complete the work.

Why: The pathway will re-open on April 1, 2016 once the abutment repairs on the McIlraith Bridge are complete.

In July or August 2016, the bearing replacement of the McIlraith Bridge will occur, which involves bridge jacking and bearing seat repairs. For safety reasons, the pathway must be closed during this work. It is expected that the pathway will be closed for approximately three weeks.

When: The pathway will be re-opened on April 1, 2016 after the completion of abutment repairs. The pathway will temporarily close in July or August 2016 for approximately three weeks.

The public will be notified in advance of the closure once it is scheduled.

Where: The pathway is located at the west abutment of the McIlraith Bridge, adjacent to the Rideau River, between Rideau Garden Drive and the roundabout on Rideau River Drive.

Accessibility

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 Contract Administrator or Contractor’s representative.

Traffic management

During the closure in July or August, pedestrians and cyclists will be detoured via the Riverdale Avenue and Main Street intersection.

Contact information

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 course of the operation of the work, such as delays and traffic detours when travelling through the construction zone, noise, dust and vibration.  We would like to thank you for your patience and co-operation.

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

Contractor’s Representative:
Rob Dollimont, Project Manager
R.W. Tomlinson
Tel: (613) 822-1867

Contract Administrator:
Patrick Mergel, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Parsons
Tel: (613) 691-1564

Pathway closure notice (November 2015)

Concrete repairs at the west abutment (Main Street side) of the McIlraith Bridge will start on November 30, 2015. The work involves concrete chipping and removal. During this work, the pathway under the bridge between Rideau Garden Drive and the roundabout of Rideau River Drive will need to be closed for safety purposes.

Who: The City of Ottawa Contractor, R.W. Tomlinson, will complete the work.

Why: The abutment repair involves concrete chipping and removal for the entire abutment surface. The pedestrian hoarding will be removed to accommodate this work. As such, the pathway has to be closed for pedestrian and cyclists’ safety.

When: The pathway closure is planned from November 30, 2015 to approximately March 31, 2016.

Where: The pathway is located at the west abutment of the bridge between Rideau Garden Drive and the roundabout of Rideau River Drive.

Accessibility

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 Contract Administrator or Contractor’s representative.

Traffic Management

Pedestrians and cyclists will be detoured via the Riverdale Avenue and Main Street intersection.

Construction Disruptions

You may feel vibrations at your home or business due to the use of heavy equipment needed to complete this work. This is quite common and typically not an issue for existing structures. The Contractor will monitor vibrations during these operations.

The Contractor is fully responsible for any damage to private property as a result of their construction activities. If you think that damage has occurred to your property as a result of construction, please contact the General Contractor directly. The contractor is required by the City to carry liability insurance before any work may proceed.

For any emergency outside normal working hours, please call the City at 3-1-1. For general project information, please check the City website or contact the City’s Project Manager. For construction related questions or concerns, please contact the Contractor Representative or the Contract Administrator.

Contact Information

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 course of the operation of the work, such as delays and traffic detours when travelling through the construction zone, noise, dust and vibration.  We would like to thank you for your patience and co-operation.

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

Contractor’s Representative
Rob Dollimont, Project Manager
R.W. Tomlinson
Tel: (613) 822-1867

Contract Administrator
Patrick Mergel, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Parsons
Tel: (613) 691-1564

Construction Commencement Notice (June 2015)

In late June 2015, the City of Ottawa will begin construction in your neighbourhood.  This work is being done to improve infrastructure in your neighborhood and will involve significant structural repairs to the McIlraith Bridge.

Who: The City of Ottawa has hired the Contractor, R.W. Tomlinson, to complete the work.

Why: The McIlraith Bridge was constructed to link two roadways over the Rideau River and Riverside Drive in 1964.  As part of the City’s standard review of existing infrastructure, a 2005 assessment showed the need for structural repairs were required to maintain the bridge.  While the repairs are underway, improvements will also occur on the bridge, including updated roadway lighting and the addition of cycling lanes.

What: The structural rehabilitation of the McIlraith Bridge includes:

  • Remove the center median to widen the road;
  • Add cycling lanes adjacent to the sidewalks;
  • Repair concrete;
  • Install concrete overlay on the bridge deck;
  • Replace expansion joints;
  • Re-pave and waterproof the bridge;
  • Repair sidewalks and parapet walls;
  • Repair the abutments;
  • Paint the steel support structures;
  • Update road lighting;
  • Install wildlife screen protection over the pedestrian pathway at Main Street.

When: Work is expected to begin in late June, 2015 with preparatory work for the first two weeks.

A majority of the construction activity will occur in two stages:

  • Stage One: Construction will start on the north side of the bridge from June 2015 to April 2016.
  • Stage Two: Construction will switch to the south side of the bridge from May 2016 to summer 2017.

Final completion is anticipated for summer 2017.

Where: McIlraith Bridge is located on Main Street connecting Smyth Road over the Rideau River and Riverside Drive.

Accessibility

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa. If you require special accommodation, please contact the Contract Administrator or Contractor’s representative.

Traffic management

Two lanes of traffic (one lane in each direction) and one sidewalk will remain open at all times. The speed limit will be reduced to 20 km/h for the duration of construction.   Cyclists will share traffic lanes or walk their bicycles on the sidewalk.  For alternative cycling routes, please go to the Ottawa Cycling Map or geoOttawa.  South side of the sidewalk will be open during Stage 1, while north side of the sidewalk will be open during Stage 2.  Pedestrians may cross the street either at the intersection of Riverdale Avenue or at the bridge approach near Smyth Road.

Planned pedestrian route illustration [ PDF - 212 KB ]

Please note that the McIlraith Bridge rehabilitation coincides with the Main Street renewal.

Construction disruptions

You may feel vibrations at your home or business due to the use of heavy equipment needed to complete this work.  This is quite common and typically not an issue for existing structures.  The Contractor will monitor vibrations during these operations.

The Contractor is fully responsible for any damage to private property as a result of their construction activities.  If you think that damage has occurred to your property as a result of construction, please contact the General Contractor directly.  The contractor is required by the City to carry liability insurance before any work may proceed.

Contact information

For any emergency outside normal working hours, please call the City at 3-1-1.  For general project information, please check the City website or contact the City’s Project Manager.  For construction related questions or concerns, please contact the Contractor Representative or the Contract Administrator.

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 course of the operation of the work, such as delays and traffic detours when travelling through the construction zone, noise, dust and vibration.  We would like to thank you for your patience and co-operation.

Lei Gong, PhD, P.Eng.
Senior Engineer
Design and Construction - Municipal East
Infrastructure Services Department
100 Constellation Drive
Ottawa, ON  K2G 6J8
E-mail: lei.gong@ottawa.ca
Tel: (613) 580-2424, ext. 22738

Contractor’s representative:
Rob Dollimont, Project Manager
R.W. Tomlinson
Tel: (613) 822-1867
E-mail: rdollimont@tomlinsongroup.com

Contract administrator:
Patrick Mergel, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Parsons
Tel: (613) 691-1564
E-mail: Patrick.Mergel@Parsons.com

Construction Notice (February 2015)

Beginning early March, the City of Ottawa will begin construction in your neighbourhood.  This preliminary work as part of the McIlraith Bridge rehabilitation project is to install wildlife mitigation measurements to protect barn swallows and turtles.

Who: The City of Ottawa has hired the Contractor, Greyleith Limited, to complete the work.

Why: The City of Ottawa will be rehabilitating the McIlraith Bridge due to age and condition of the existing bridge structure.  According to the Species at Risk legislation, mitigation measurements are required to protect local wildlife, specifically barn swallows and turtles.

What: Work will involve a lane closure to allow for the construction, between Elliot Avenue and Riverside Drive.  One lane will remain open to traffic in either direction at all times.

When: Work is expected to commence March 2015.  Completion of all work is anticipated by the end of April 2015.

The City of Ottawa Noise By-law (2004-253) allows construction activity to occur weekdays between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.  On Saturdays, work is permitted between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. while Sunday and Statutory holiday work is allowed between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.  Due to traffic constraint on Riverside Drive during daytime and peak hours, some work on the last span of the bridge will be carried out during the night time, for up to 11 nights in April 2015.  Noise exemptions will be applied according to the City of Ottawa Noise By-law.

Where: McIlraith Bridge is located on Main Street connecting Smyth Road over the Rideau River and Riverside Drive.  During construction, Main Street, Smyth Road and Riverside Drive will maintain a minimum of one lane in each direction.

Every effort is being made to reduce the duration of the construction impacts in your community.

Accessibility

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa.  If you require special accommodation, please contact the Contract Administrator or Contractor’s representative.

Construction Disruptions

Greyleith Limited is assuming full responsibility for the construction work until it is entirely complete.  They 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 course of the work.  Should you have any inquiries once work commences, please do not hesitate to contact the Contract Administrator.

Impact on Adjacent Private Properties

With the extent of the construction, lane closure is required to facilitate the proposed work.  Night work is also required due to traffic constraint on Riverside Drive, having an approximate duration of 11 nights in April 2015.

You may feel vibrations at your home or business due to the use of the heavy equipment needed to complete this work.  This is quite common and typically not an issue for existing structures.

Contact Information

To obtain additional information on this project, please contact the City’s Project Manager:

Contractor’s Representative:
Sarah Postma – Project Manager
Greyleith Limited
Tel: (613) 253-3771

City’s Project Manager & Contract Administrator:
Lei Gong, PhD, P.Eng.
Senior Engineer
Design and Construction - Municipal East
Infrastructure Services Department
100 Constellation Drive
Ottawa, ON  K2G 6J8
E-Mail: lei.gong@ottawa.ca
Tel: (613) 580-2424, ext. 22738

Open houses – June 17th and June 18th, 2013

McIlraith Bridge history and background

The McIlraith Bridge was constructed in 1964 to link Smyth Road (East Approach) and Main Street (West Approach) over Rideau River and Riverside Drive.

In 2005, the City of Ottawa undertook the process of assessing the conditions of the structure. The assessment of the structure identified a need for major structural repairs.

Following the assessment, the City of Ottawa initiated the detailed design process for the rehabilitation. The detail design is now nearing completion and construction is planned to begin next year.

The work will be carried out two (2014 & 2015) construction seasons with a winter shutdown.

Four lanes of traffic will be open during winter shutdown with construction activities limited to the underside of the bridge.

Study area for the bridge rehabilitation work

The study area extends from the end of Main Street to the Riverside Hospital entrance.

The project is located within the limits of

  • Ward 17 – Capital (Councillor David Chernushenko)
  • Ward 18 – Alta Vista (Councillor Peter Hume)

Aerial view of McIlraith Bridge

General objectives of the bridge rehabilitation project

The goals of this project are:

  • Repair the bridge
  • Improve roadway illumination
  • Provide bicycle lanes on the bridge
  • Repairs to pathway under the structure from Main Street side

Picture of structural steel support in need of painting.

General scope of structural rehabilitation of the bridge

The Structural rehabilitation of the McIlraith Bridge includes:

  • The removal of the centerline median to widen the road in order to accommodate bicycle lanes adjacent to the sidewalks
  • Repairs to concrete
  • Concrete overlay on the deck
  • Seismic upgrades
  • Expansion joints replacements
  • Replacement of waterproofing and paving of the bridge
  • Sidewalks and parapet walls repairs
  • Abutment repairs
  • Painting of the steel support structure
  • Improvements in illumination
  • Bird screen protection installation
  • Repairs to pathway on Main Street end

Cross sections of existing and proposed bridge following rehabilitation

The slides, linked below, represent the existing and proposed section of the bridge. As can be seen, the centerline median will be removed to create a wider roadway and in turn allow the creation of designated bicycle lanes.

Picture of roadway on the bridge before rehabilitation and  Rendering of roadway on the bridge after rehabilitation.

Cross sections of existing and proposed bridge following rehabilitation [ PDF - 348 KB ]

Comprehensive scope of work

The work will be carried out over the 2014/2015 construction season.  The work on top of the bridge will be halted for winter 2014/2015 with the bridge open to four lanes of vehicular traffic.  The timing of work and specific scope is as follows:

Stage 1 work – May 2014 to October 2014:

  • Install detour for stage 1
  • Install hoarding for protection of pedestrians on the paths under the bridge
  • Install Protection System under the Structure
  • Temporarily raise the pedestrian railing on sidewalks
  • Repair the bridge in stage 1 and pave

Winterize - November 2014:

  • Install temporary concrete barriers between West-bound and East-bound traffic.
  • Install pavement markings for winter.
  • Open the road to full Four lanes of Traffic for winter

Winter shutdown [ PDF - 1.8 MB ]

November 15, 2014 - March 30, 2015:

  • Four lanes of traffic open on the Bridge
  • Work underside of the Bridge
  • Reface Concrete Abutments

Stage 2 work – April 2015 to October 2015:

  • Install detour for stage 2
  • Repair the bridge in stage 2 and Pave
  • Install Seismic Reinforcement
  • Paint the Bridge
  • Install Bird Screens
  • Lane Reductions on Riverside Drive (June-August)
  • Street Lights Improvements

Bridge after rehabilitation

The rendering below represents how the bridge will look following rehabilitation with the steelwork painted in grey and new luminaries added.

Rendering of how the McIlraith Bridge will look following rehabilitation.

Illumination improvements on the structure

A need for improvements in the illumination was identified in the design stage. The improvement will include replacement of existing luminaries with a more efficient type and the addition of new luminaries placed between the existing ones. Click on the attachments to view the details of the illumination improvements.

Proposed illumination improvements [ PDF - 619 KB ]

Traffic staging during construction

An elaborate staging will be required to allow carrying the work, while maintaining vehicular traffic, allow passage of bicycles and pedestrians during repairs to the structure. Click on the link below to view details of the proposed staging during construction as well as control of pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Traffic staging during construction [ PDF - 593 KB ]

Winter shutdown traffic control

Separate provision will be required to control the traffic during winter 2014/2015 while accommodating the construction and varying conditions associated with construction work. Click on the link below to view the details how the traffic flows will be maintained in winter when construction activities on the top of the structure will be suspended.

Winter shut down traffic control [ PDF - 1.8 MB ]

Riverside Drive staging mid June to August 2015

In order to paint and repair the bridge, closure of lanes on Riverside Drive will be required.  This is mainly due to the fact that there is insufficient clearance from the road to the underside of the bridge to allow installation of a platform under the bridge while maintaining traffic. To carry out the work safely, lane reductions on Riverside Drive will be necessary and these reductions will take place in the summer of 2015. Click on the attachment to see the detail on lane closures on Riverside Drive.

Riverside Drive staging - traffic control [ PDF - 632 KB ]
Riverside Drive staging - traffic control (cross section) [ PDF - 1.3 MB ] 

Pedestrian protection under the bridge

In order to ensure public safety, enclosures will be constructed under the bridge over the two pedestrian/bicycle pathways on either shore of the River. These enclosures will have the sides open allowing a view of the river. Further public safety will be enhanced by installation of lighting. Click on the link to the attachment to see the details of the enclosures over pathways.

Proposed pedestrian protection under the bridge [ PDF - 535 KB ]

Next steps

Following this public Open House, the following steps will need to be taken to complete the project:

  • Receive public comments (June 2013)
  • Finalize design (2013)
  • Tendering process (Fall 2013)
  • Construction start (April 2014)

Review of pedestrian/cycling connectivity at east side of the McIlraith Bridge

Genivar, on behalf of the City of Ottawa, carried out a review of the existing pedestrian and cycling connectivity at the east end of McIlraith Bridge (Smythe Road).

The goals of this project are to:

  • Evaluate potential for improvements in  pedestrian and cycling facilities;
  • Meet the standards of the new Ottawa Accessibility Design Standards; and
  • Recommend a safe and affordable facility for the community. 
  • Assess the potential for construction of ramps and staircases for connection to the NCC bicycle path.

Study area

The study area extends from the McIlraith Bridge to the NCC pathway on the east side of the Rideau River.

Aerial view of study area

Aerial view of study area.

Ottawa accessibility design standards (OADS)

City of Ottawa is bound to respect the newly developed and approved by Council Ottawa Accessibility Design Standards (OADS). The main requirements contained in the Standard that relate to assessment of possible improvements in cycling/pedestrian facilities at east end of McIlraith bridge are:

  • Where stairs are installed a ramp shall be provided immediately adjacent to the stairs.
  • Design guidelines from the accessibility design standards, section 2.2, ramps design guidelines for ramp design include:
    • minimum width: 1100mm between hand rails;
    • maximum ramp length is 9000mm between landings;
    • maximum gradient on 1:15 (6.67%); and
    • landings: 1675mm x 1675mm (min.).

Recommended alternative

A total of 7 alternatives were reviewed. The primary evaluation parameters included: degree of enhancement in pedestrian/bicycle traffic connectivity, meets community expectations, feasibility of construction, compliance with the standard and costs.

The selected alternative consists of multi-use pathways connecting McIlraith Bridge to the existing signals on Riverside Drive and the NCC pathway.  This plan promotes healthy living by maximizing pedestrian and cyclist connectivity, is a safe and affordable facility and complies with the City’s OADS. 

Diagrammatic representation of the recommended alternative.