Ian Grabina of Councillor Chernushenko’s office has informed OOECA of recent progress on the canal footbridge, including the highlights that the construction could begin as early as Fall 2017 and some of the changes suggested by the association and others after the February information session either have or may be reflected in the revised design. Specifically:
- The City has continued to work through the preliminary design for the new Rideau Canal Crossing.
- Comments from the open house and federal partners are being considered and incorporated into the design wherever possible. This includes:
- Smoothing the slopes on the west (Glebe) side
- Additional measures to beautify and restore the Lilly Pond on the Glebe side
- A larger rest and viewing area at the west side
- Preserving the oak tree and enhancing the public space with a plaza at the east landing (OOE)
- Work is continuing on options for shared space for pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge, including the potential to widen the bridge.
- Through the preliminary design work, City staff have now determined that construction of the bridge could begin as early as late Fall 2017, after the Canal has been drained, should funding from other levels of government become available.
- In addition, geo-technical field investigations and analysis for the foundations have been completed.
- Preliminary design is anticipated to be complete in mid-2016.
- In June, some small pits will be dug on both the east and west side of the Rideau Canal (at Fifth and at Clegg) as part of the archaeological assessment of the area. This is being coordinated with the NCC.
- The City continues to consult with the NCC and Parks Canada on the bridge design modifications, protection of the Canal during construction and the overall restoration of the area.
- Once preliminary design is complete, further updates will be provided to the community.