The Government of Ontario and the City of Ottawa have finalized an agreement to study a possible tunnel to address the problem of heavy inter-provincial truck traffic in downtown Ottawa. The Honourable Steven Del Duca, Ontario Transportation Minister, signed the agreement providing 50 per cent of the funding towards the study and a preferred proponent has been chosen by the City of Ottawa to carry out the work.
The Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa are equally cost-sharing a technical study that will cost approximately $750,000 and will take approximately 18 months to complete. The well-known international engineering consulting firm Parsons has been hired to undertake the study.
“As our cities grow, we have a responsibility to find feasible solutions to keep people, goods and services moving,” said Minister Del Duca. “We are working with the City of Ottawa to reduce truck traffic downtown while keeping our economy moving forward.”
‘’I am committed to finding a real solution to the heavy truck problem in Ottawa; it has gone on for too long. What we need is a sustainable solution,” said Madeleine Meilleur, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier. “The partnership between the Province and the City is one step closer to making this happen.”
“This study is a step toward improving the quality of life for residents in Lowertown and Sandy Hill, said Mayor Jim Watson. “I thank the Province of Ontario for helping to explore a potentially practical solution to a long-term problem in Ottawa.”
“I am happy to see progress on a project that is critical to the residents of Rideau-Vanier,” said Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor Mathieu Fleury. “I brought forward a motion last year to find a solution that will finally rid our downtown streets of interprovincial truck traffic.”
In November 2013, City Council unanimously approved Ottawa’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) which will serve as the blueprint for transportation investments throughout the City of Ottawa over the next 20 years. During this discussion, Council also approved initiating a feasibility study for a downtown tunnel that would establish an alternate connection between Highway 417 and the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge for trucks and vehicles that travel through the downtown area without stopping. If the study determines that such a project is feasible, there would be a subsequent environmental assessment study that would include extensive public consultation.