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Kettle Island the Preferred Location for an East End Bridge

posted May 21, 2013, 2:30 PM by John Verbaas

On May 14th 2013, the NCC announced the decision of their "Evaluation Committee" regarding the "technically preferred corridor" for a new interprovincial bridge in the east end of the NCR.   The choice was Kettle Island (via Aviation Parkway-Montee Paiement).   Kettle Island was preferred over the 2 other corridors under consideration, both of which were located further east.  This is basically a re-confirmation of the Phase 1 study which also recommended Kettle Island in 2008.  Previous studies in the 1990's had also arrived at similar conclusions. 

Reaction was swift with local politicians at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels for the affected area all declaring that they would not support a bridge at Kettle Island.  

Watson wants to explore truck-only toll tunnel rather than Kettle Island bridge

MetroNews Canada

Watson’s comments came in response to the National Capital Commission’s preference for a new interprovincial bridge along the Kettle Island corridor. The bridge is partially an effort to reduce truck congestion in the downtown core — Watson’s against the idea.

“I think what we have to do is look more creatively. Instead of looking at a bridge, we should be looking at the possibility of a truck-only tunnel going off the bridge, under King Edward and coming up at Nicholas at the 417,” Watson said.

“That solves the truck problem in the downtown without hurting another series of neighbourhoods in the east end.”

There’s no estimate on how much that would cost, but Watson said he suspects there could be economies of scale, since drilling equipment will already be in the city over the coming years for the construction of the Confederation Line. The Kettle Island bridge is estimated to cost $1.16 billion.

Coun. Keith Egli, the chair of the city’s transportation committee, said the NCC’s report is due to committee in June. At that point, Egli said, councillors may direct staff to explore the tunnel idea.

Madeleine Meilleur: A bridge at Kettle Island is not an option!
May 14th, 2013

Here is what the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur says:

I am very disappointed in the National Capital Commission’s recent recommendation for the east-end bridge. Among other things, it does not address the issue of eliminating truck traffic in the city core.

The building of a bridge between Ottawa and Gatineau has been my priority for many years, but I’ve always maintained that a new bridge should not disrupt established residential neighbourhoods. Any interprovincial bridge needs to get the trucks out of downtown, and any proposal that does not respect the local communities and does not get the trucks out of residential areas is not a solution.

I will continue to fight to protect all residential neighbourhoods and to encourage better public transit to and from the city core, and I will recommend that the Ontario government NOT FUND a bridge at Kettle Island.

Here is what the Honourable Mauril Bélanger adds:

In 1995, I stated publicly that I was against a bridge at Kettle Island, via the Aviation Parkway. I have not changed my mind and I am always against this option because it only spreads a problem: that of heavy trucks in the core of our nation’s capital – but does not solve it.

In the absence of a sound planning of our transportation corridors from the NCC, I add my voice to those who advocate the abandonment of this project and urge the Ontario government not to finance a bridge at Kettle Island.

If east end politicians are not in support of a new bridge at Kettle Island even though several very rigorous and detailed studies over 2 decades have repeatedly confirmed this is the preferred route, then what do they propose to do about the problem of inter-provincial trucks cutting through downtown streets?  The study predicted that today's problem of 3600 trucks per day (2600 on Rideau/King Edward and 1000 on Chaudieres) would grow to a problem of 5800 trucks per day by 2031.  Sustainable Solutions-Solutions durable will continue to raise the profile of this downtown truck problem and press politicians of all levels to be more proactive at finding a path forward.  Further delays in dealing with this truck problem are unacceptable.

The proposed project costs were updated as 1.1B$.  This cost is composed of approximately 50% bridge costs, 25% new road work on the approaches to the bridge and 25% for engineering and contingency.   The proposed bridge consists of 2 traffic and 1 dedicated transit lane in each direction.  The roadway approaches on both the Ottawa and Gatineau side need to be modified and widened, significant interchange modifications required at the 417 and 50 interchanges, and overpasses would be built when the corridor crosses over Ogilvy Road on the Ottawa side and Blvd Maloney on the Quebec side.

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