Old Ottawa South Community Association

Canal Wall Work Brings Detour and Path Improvements
Photo by Bess Fraser.

Canal Wall Work Brings Detour and Path Improvements

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Another major infrastructure project has begun along the Rideau Canal: Parks Canada’s rehabilitation of the 262 metre section of the Canal wall running from the Concord Street North to Main Street in Old Ottawa East.

This project is part of the $15 million investment into Rideau Canal wall repairs, stemming from a $3.2 billion nation-wide program to maintain assets within national parks and historic sites, and is similar in nature to the wall rebuild done over the last few years on both sides of the Canal near Bank Street.

The project brings with it some disruptions but, in addition to restoring the integrity of the Canal and the multi-use pathway, the work will result in a wider pathway, where possible, within the current project area.

During the course of the project, cyclists and pedestrians will be detoured from the fenced-off pathway along the Canal to the east side of Colonel By Drive. The detour runs along bike lanes painted on Echo Drive between Main Street and Concord Street North then along the paved pathway running north to the Corktown footbridge and the University of Ottawa.

In the past, residents have complained about cyclist/pedestrian conflicts along the pathway that will be used for the detour but Christie Ulicny, communications officer for Parks Canada, says, “Appropriate signage will be installed between the Corktown Bridge and Concord Street North to ensure pedestrian/cyclist safety.”

An immediate impact of the work is that the skateway access stairs at Concord and the Concord shelter facilities will not be installed this winter. To compensate for this closure, the National Capital Commission has installed a new skateway point across from the Main - Colonel By intersection. Also, a new signalized crossing has been installed at this intersection to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

The project will be completed in the spring of 2020. At this point it is not known whether the Concord stairway and shelter will be installed for the 2019-2020 skating season.

More Canal restoration work will be required in Old Ottawa East after the current project is completed. The crumbling section of the Canal wall just south of Clegg Street will remain fenced off until this work is completed.

“The Clegg Street section of the Ottawa Canal Wall repairs is in the planning stages,” says Ms. Ulicny. “There are a number of considerations for this section of Canal due to the configuration of services and other infrastructure that interacts with this site. We are currently working with the City of Ottawa, Hydro Ottawa and the National Capital Commission to assess our approach.”

This article first appeared in the Mainstreeter.

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