Second phase of Champlain Bridge rehabilitation to continue until end of November
On March 20, The National Capital Commission (NCC) began the second phase of the rehabilitation work on the Champlain Bridge. The work is currently being done on the middle lane of the bridge.
The work was originally going to be completed in three phases, but the NCC has decided to complete it in its entirety by extending the second phase. The work on the bridge is expected to be completed by the end of November this year.
The rehabilitation work involves removal of asphalt and repaving, waterproofing, concrete deck repairs, replacement or repair of expansion joints, and improvements to bike lanes. This work is part of the NCC’s major infrastructure projects, in which Canada has allocated $52.4 million.
Two lanes will remain open, one in each direction, and the speed limit has been reduced to 40 km/h. Cyclists are being asked to use the temporary bike lanes next to the working zone on the bridge. Pedestrians will have access to the eastern sidewalk.
Many residents and commuters have expressed concerns and frustration due to the increased traffic and delays during rush hours.
Greg Fergus, Liberal Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer, has created a petition that proposes two lanes be open in one direction depending on the direction of traffic. Fergus proposed that in the morning, the two lanes would be open for commuters travelling from Gatineau to Ottawa, and in the afternoon, the two lanes would be open for commuters travelling back from Ottawa to Gatineau.
In the video announcing the petition, Fergus says that the road departments with Gatineau, Ottawa and the NCC didn’t like the idea. “This means we are going to have a repeat of last year with big traffic jams in the morning that are going to cause problems not only for people that are driving their cars but also for people that are taking public transportation.”
Residents interested in signing the petition can do so through a Google form: https://forms.gle/c59XRRdsoStixfco9.
The Champlain Bridge is responsible for approximately 22% of interprovincial vehicle traffic and 5% of pedestrians and cyclists crossing the river.
Photo caption: Traffic on the Champlain Bridge.
Photo credit: Sophie Demers