The Environmental Assessment (EA) study for Leitrim Road realignment and widening (River Road to Bank Street) was needed to establish the future right-of-way requirements in order to protect the corridor from encroaching development. The findings of the study will also inform and guide the ongoing planning and development of adjacent lands. The realignment is required due to the Ottawa International Airport Authority’s plans for a new southern runway, with potential implementation beyond year 2031. The study also provides an opportunity to re-imagine the role of Leitrim Road and design it as a complete street that serves all modes of transportation, while adding capacity. Although this project is identified in the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and is needed to protect the right-of-way, its implementation is not part of the TMP’s Affordable Network and as such, no funding has been identified for construction.
The EA study recommended that the future realigned road be four lanes in most sections in order to meet the forecasted demand associated with the full build-out of Riverside South and Leitrim communities. Widening is not required in the existing section between River Road and Limebank Road and one travel lane in each direction will be sufficient.
The study’s Recommended Plan will:
- Protect a roadway corridor from encroaching development;
- Enable the Airport Authority to plan for a future southern runway;
- Provide a planned network that connects existing and new collector roads to serve the growing south urban communities;
- Improve cycling and pedestrian networks; and
- Provide a new multi-modal connection to the Leitrim LRT Station and Park and Ride on the Trillium Line.
Key elements of the Recommended Plan for the 9 km project are:
- New four-lane undivided roadway in all sections except between River Road and Limebank Road (which remains as two lanes);
- Protected intersections to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians;
- Signalized intersections and roundabouts where appropriate;
- 2.0 m concrete sidewalk and 1.8 m segregated and raised cycle track on both sides, or a 3.0 m multi-use pathway along one or both sides of the roadway;
- 3.5 m outer travel lane and 3.25 m inner travel lane;
- Curbs in urban areas and ditches and rapid drainage along the Greenbelt;
- Lighting to be provided in accordance with the City’s Right-of-Way Lighting Policy;
- Posted speed of 60 km/h in urban areas, and 70 km/h through the Greenbelt;
- Closure of existing Leitrim Road for sections where the road will be realigned (east of Limebank to Trillium Line, and east of Albion to the new Leitrim Road);
- Retain existing Leitrim Road (Trillium Line to Albion) to provide access to adjacent land uses;
- New roadway between realigned Leitrim and Gilligan Road, providing a multi-modal connection to the Leitrim LRT Station and Park and Ride;
- Grade separation of Leitrim Road over the Trillium Line; and
- Minimal footprint to minimize environmental impacts on the Greenbelt and natural environment.
Approximately 30 hectares in total is required from Transport Canada including lands leased by the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority, the National Capital Commission and private land owners to accommodate the realignment and widening. Approximately 3.3 hectares of this land is owned by the City of Ottawa, however not currently used for Right-of-Way.