How will the public know when the Detail Design and Contract Preparation phase commences for the bridge projects?2019-04-16T12:01:26+00:00

An Ontario Public Commencement of Detailed Design Study Notice will be placed in the French and English daily newspapers.

What will happen after the TESR Public Review Period has been completed?2019-04-16T12:01:04+00:00

The next phase will be the Detail Design and Contract Preparation for the four bridge sites, anticipated to be within the next 5 +/- years.

How will the public be advised of the completion of the project?2019-04-16T12:00:43+00:00

An Ontario Public Notice will be placed in the English and French daily newspapers, and notice will be served to those on the project mailing list that the project Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) is available for public review and comment for 30 days during the Public Review Period.

When will the project be completed?2020-04-03T16:30:02+00:00

Anticipated EA Study completion 2020.

What is the scope of the current EA study in relation to the previous EA study completed in 2007 for this area of the Queensway?2017-12-11T20:24:51+00:00

The current EA study is focused on a bridge management plan for the 7 structures at the 4 sites under study. The long term plan for the Queensway was defined in the 2007 EA study which considered the traffic needs and deficiencies in the corridor. The 2007 EA study established the number of lanes for the freeway and the proposed freeway operation for the future planning horizon. The current EA study is one of several smaller sub-projects within the broader 2007 study area that are considering, in detail, the site specific needs that fit within the vision of the corridor long range plan.

Who is the Proponent of the Study?2017-12-11T20:25:59+00:00

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is the proponent for the study.

The City of Ottawa, NCC and the public have interests in the study and will be consulted. Other stakeholders may identify an interest in partnering with MTO for context sensitive design elements on side streets that pass under the Queensway, in which case these works may become part of MTO’s project. MTO will be responsible for reviewing, approving and monitoring these elements should they be within the highway right-of-way.

Who will construct the Project?2017-12-11T20:26:28+00:00

The project will be defined by the EA study. The EA will determine the strategy (rehabilitation or replacement) for each bridge and the traffic management measures required to construct the works as well as the preliminary design and commitments for environmental protection. The MTO will initiate construction and hire a contractor at a future date(s) subject to the availability of funding, detail design and environmental approvals. The rehabilitation/replacement of the bridges is not currently scheduled for construction.

What is an Environmental Assessment?2017-12-11T20:26:54+00:00

An Environmental Assessment is a systematic process that addresses an issue, problem or need leading to a recommended solution(s) through a process that is open, transparent and can be replicated.  In Ontario, the process is governed by the Environmental Assessment Act. In accordance with and approved under the EA Act, MTO has developed the “MTO Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities , 2000“ document, a 12 Chapter 91 page document. The Class EA process and document has been developed based on the MOECC five guiding principles for Class EA studies:

  • Consider all reasonable alternatives;
  • Provide a comprehensive assessment of the environment;
  • Utilize a systematic and traceable evaluation of net effects;
  • Undertake a comprehensive public and indigenous peoples consultation program; and
  • Provide a clear and concise documentation of the decision-making process, public consultation and recommended solution(s).

For more in depth information on the application of the EA Act and the “MTO Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities , 2000“ document applicable to this project, please contact the individuals listed in the Contact section of the website.

How can I be informed of the study progress?2017-12-11T20:27:23+00:00

Please contact one of the following members of the project team:

Steve Taylor, P. Eng., Project Manager
BT Engineering
100 Craig Henry Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 1E1
Tel. (613) 228-4813
Toll Free 1-855-228-4813
Fax (613) 280-1305

Dave Lindensmith, P. Eng., Senior Project Engineer
Ministry of Transportation
1355 John Counter Boulevard
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 5A3
Tel. (613) 540-5130
Toll Free 1-800-267-0295
Fax (613) 540-5106

How does the Ministry’s previous EA Study for Highway 417 play into this EA Study?2017-12-11T20:27:53+00:00

In 2008, MTO received clearance for an EA that recommended operational, safety and expansion measures on Highway 417 from Highway 416 to Anderson Road. Although the focus of this study is rehabilitation or replacement of the bridges within the study area, this study will take into account the recommendations of the previous study. For example, one of the staging alternatives under consideration would be to build the EA approved widening to minimize traffic impacts during construction. Recommended alternatives from this study will not preclude implementation of the previously identified widening.

How long will it take to complete the EA study?2017-12-11T20:28:29+00:00

The EA study process commenced in 2017. It is expected that this EA study will be completed by the winter of 2018. For more information, visit Latest News.

How old are these bridges and how long do they normally last?2017-12-11T20:29:00+00:00

The bridges were constructed in the early 1960’s. Bridges of this era were designed for service lives of 50 to 60 years. Their service lives can be extended with continued investment in repairs. Commonly the decision to replace is based on the high cost of the repairs or impacts (such as traffic impacts) for short term repairs versus long term replacement projects.

How does the project maintain public access for pedestrians during construction? Are you removing sidewalks?2017-12-11T20:29:28+00:00

The effects of the project on walking will be considered as part of the evaluation of alternatives.  Pedestrians will be accommodated during construction through the sites where safely possible. Sidewalks will be closed during the rapid replacement operations, with signed detours.  There are no plans to permanently remove sidewalks; they will be replaced in kind if affected by construction.

How long will Ballantyne Park be closed to the public, if the Main Street bridge is replaced by rapid replacement?2017-12-11T20:29:54+00:00

The closure of the park (or a portion of the park) may be for parts of 2 construction seasons.

How long will the detours be if the Queensway is briefly closed?2017-12-11T20:34:16+00:00

Alternatives being considered will document conventional rehabilitation and rapid rehabilitation approaches as well as conventional and rapid bridge replacement alternatives.  Conventional construction projects could result in one or more construction seasons with lane closures. In contrast, rapid rehabilitation or replacement projects would limit the time for actual lane or full closures to within a window of single weekend. The study will consider different alternatives.

While potential detours have not yet been finalized, one potential off-site detour route under consideration to accommodate a full Queensway closure is illustrated below.  The public will have an opportunity to comment on all alternatives before recommendations are made.


What does “Rapid Replacement” mean?2017-12-11T20:30:55+00:00

“Rapid Replacement” is a bridge replacement method for bridges nearing the end of their service life.  It involves constructing a new bridge on a site near the old bridge.  Once the new bridge is  complete, the road is closed and the old bridge is removed and the new bridge is moved into place.

The entire replacement operation is complete in 24-48 hours.

While closing the highway results in additional traffic delays, the closure is for a very short period of time; typically during a weekend.  The public is warned of the closure well in advance with media and advertising blitzes.


For Rapid Replacement, where will you build the new bridges?2017-12-11T20:31:23+00:00

The new rigid frame bridges (Metcalfe Street, Elgin Street and Main Street) will be assembled at staging sites near the existing bridges. The staging sites being considered for the rigid frames are shown below:


Why has an Environmental Assessment been initiated for the Ottawa Queensway Downtown bridges?2017-12-11T20:31:48+00:00

A formal Environmental Assessment (EA) is a mandatory requirement in the Province of Ontario for any road projects that have the potential to have environmental effects. Completing the EA ensures that all reasonable alternatives and the environmental effects are considered in determining the recommended improvements associated with the future project. This project is being planned as a Group ‘B’ project under the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000). A Group ‘B’ undertaking commits the proponent to mandatory public consultation and provides an opportunity for the public to object to the project through a Part II Order request to the Minister of the Environment at the completion of the Study.

What is the timing of the projects?2017-12-11T20:32:12+00:00

The timing of the projects will be subject to funding availability and other Provincial priorities. The timeline of the projects may be in the 5 to 10 year horizon.

How will property owners be compensated if affected by the project?2020-04-06T13:04:41+00:00

MTO Property staff will work with affected property owners to ensure compensation based on fair market value and legislated entitlements is appropriately determined and paid.

Who will fund the Project?2017-12-08T15:54:30+00:00

The project is being undertaken by the Province of Ontario (MTO). Although the project crosses City of Ottawa and Federal properties the project will be solely funded by MTO.

Are approvals required from the City of Ottawa, Parks Canada, Transport Canada or the National Capital Commission?2017-12-08T16:04:47+00:00

Municipal and federal approvals, where required, will be secured by MTO.

How will views along the Canal be protected?2017-12-08T16:04:28+00:00

Views of the canal will be considered as part of the environmental assessment, and will also be a criterion for comparing preliminary design alternatives of new structures over the Rideau canal.

Will the paths along the Canal be closed and for how long?2020-04-03T16:31:52+00:00

The paths along the canal are expected to have intermittent closures with local detour routes when required during the construction season for the new bridges.

When is the Rideau Canal bridge, planned (month) to be replaced?2017-12-08T16:02:19+00:00

The period being considered for the replacement of the bridge is the 5 week period following the fall water draw-down of the canal (post-Thanksgiving).

What happens to the murals on the bridge if the bridge is replaced?2017-12-08T16:02:07+00:00

If the mural is removed due to rehabilitation requirements, the City would be responsible for replacement.  The same MTO permit conditions would apply to any new mural(s).

Why are the bridges being considered for replacement?2017-12-08T16:01:51+00:00

The era of the bridges constructed on the initial Queensway in the early 1960’s had expected service lives of 50 to 60 years.  The rigid frame bridges were the most durable bridge types built in that time period. As each of the seven bridges within the study area is at or nearing the end of their service lives, the MTO is assessing whether it is time to replace the bridges or if they may be rehabilitated for one more cycle before replacement. That decision will be the subject of the EA.

Are there any safety issues with the existing bridges?2017-12-08T16:01:39+00:00

MTO continually assesses and inspects these bridges, and completes necessary repairs as required. The preliminary design study will define the future bridge management plan for the bridges and ensure the safety of the travelling public.

Will the project impact navigation or the skating season?2017-12-08T16:01:25+00:00

The delivery of the project will not impact the navigation on the Rideau Canal or the skating season.

Is there any risk to the City of Ottawa infrastructure?2017-12-08T16:00:15+00:00

The City of Ottawa is participating in the planning for the project(s) as part of a Municipal Technical Advisory Committee. All sewers and watermains will be protected.

What is the timing of the study?2020-04-03T16:31:19+00:00

The EA Study is anticipated to be completed in 2020 with detail design and construction to be completed subsequently.

Will some bridges be replaced and some rehabilitated?2017-12-08T15:59:42+00:00

The decision for which bridges are rehabilitated or replaced will be the outcome of the study and is expected to be based on the condition of the bridges, costs of the works and impacts associated with rehabilitation or replacement. It may be a study outcome, that one or more bridges will be rehabilitated for this cycle of bridge management.

How can we follow the study?2017-12-08T15:59:23+00:00

You can ask to be included on the Study mailing list (land mail or email) and will be contacted at each milestone of the study.

How does this project promote cycling?2017-12-08T15:58:45+00:00

This study is considering the rehabilitation or replacement of bridge structures for either the short to medium term or longer term at each rigid frame bridge site.  The alternatives for bridge replacement are considering bridge spans that are either the same length as the existing bridge or longer.    The effects of the project on cycling will be considered as part of the evaluation of alternatives.

Will the construction work affect local events?2017-12-08T15:58:08+00:00

The project(s) will do its best to mitigate any potential impacts.  Some bridge construction alternatives can be completed over relatively short term periods – which the Ministry may be able to schedule to avoid disruption to local events.  Operational constraints can also be included as part of the construction contract, to ensure key local events are respected.

How will the impact of ramp closures be considered as part of the study?2017-12-08T15:57:44+00:00

The duration of ramp closures required to implement an alternative will be measured and considered as part of the evaluation of alternatives. A Technically Preferred Alternative (TPA) will be presented at Public Information Centre (PIC) No. 2.  The TPA will then consider residual effects and attempt to minimize these effects, including ramp closure durations.  One mitigation measure may be to program construction, of more than one bridge project at a time, so that total traffic disruption (including ramp closures) can be reduced / minimized.

Will new highway on or off-ramps be considered as part of the study?2017-12-08T15:57:27+00:00

The current study is focused on the rehabilitation and/or replacement of existing bridges and is not considering any modifications to lanes, either along or connecting to Highway 417 (Ottawa Queensway). This issue was addressed during the Hwy 417 – 416 to Anderson Rd PDR / EA that received clearance in August of 2008.

Will an Air Quality Assessment be conducted as part of the study?2017-12-08T15:57:09+00:00

Air quality effects were assessed as part of the previous (2007) Highway 417 (Ottawa Queensway) from Highway 416 to Anderson Road Preliminary Design Study and Environmental Assessment.   After careful consideration of the absence of changes in traffic conditions, as well as proximity to sensitive receptors, it was determined that an Air Quality / Greenhouse Gas assessment is not required for this bridge rehabilitation / replacement project.

Will a Noise Assessment be conducted as part of the study?2017-12-08T15:56:53+00:00

Noise effects were assessed, as part of the previous (2007) Highway 417 (Ottawa Queensway) from Highway 416 to Anderson Road Preliminary Design Study and Environmental Assessment. A noise analysis is being undertaken, as part of the study, to assess replacement of the current noise barriers.

When will the construction take place?2017-12-08T15:56:35+00:00

Timing for implementation of major rehabilitation or replacement of any of the bridges being considered, as part of this project, will be determined subsequent to the completion of the study and will be subject to available funding and approvals.  Regular bridge maintenance work will continue in the interim as needed

When will noise barriers from the Canal to Nicholas Street be replaced?2017-12-08T15:56:00+00:00

Noise barriers are typically constructed or replaced in conjunction with other highway work in the area so as to minimize traffic and other impacts, and provide for more efficient construction. It is envisioned that these noise barriers will be replaced in conjunction with the bridge rehabilitation / replacements from Metcalfe Street to Main Street.

What process will be followed over the course of the study?2017-06-14T19:00:40+00:00

The study will follow the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities.  The plan for this study is laid out in detail in our “Study Design” document.  You can download a PDF copy of the Study Design here.

What are the different types of alternatives that will be considered in the study?2017-06-14T19:16:57+00:00

Two main alternatives under consideration are “Rehabilitation” alternatives and “Replacement” alternatives.

Rehabilitation alternatives are when the bridge is fixed on-site.  One or more lanes on the freeway are closed as construction crews repair or replace parts of the bridge.

Replacement alternatives involve a new structure. Conventional (staged) replacement replaces the structure in stages to avoid full closure and take place over a long period of time. Rapid Replacement involves building a new bridge on a site near the existing bridge.  Once the new bridge is ready, the highway is briefly closed (typically for 24-48 hours) while crews remove the old bridge and replace it with the new bridge.

While the highway would remain open under Rehabilitation options, lane closures can last for months, or even years at a time.  This can lead to traffic delays and congestion during that period of time.

On the other hand, Rapid Replacement would either close several lanes or fully close one direction of the freeway, but for a very short period of time.  Local media blitzes precede the closure advising travellers of the traffic management plan during the replacement process in order to mitigate the impact.

Have Rapid Replacement or other similar construction options been considered?2017-04-28T20:22:08+00:00

Rapid Replacement has been considered as a traffic staging alternative. This alternative is a short duration construction approach which would take place over a single long weekend or over two consecutive weekends.

What is Context Sensitive Design?2017-04-28T20:21:56+00:00

Context Sensitive Design is an effort to design transportation projects in harmony with their context, or setting, such that these projects respect the community values, physical needs, natural environment, social needs, cultural characteristics, aesthetics and transportation needs. The “context” of the project can include a variety of elements such as community, historic districts, residential character, parks and commercial neighbourhoods.