Bridge, tunnel only options for Quebec corridor, but public to help decide site
« We’re committed to a public process that will lead to an informed decision. It is very important that the public participate. »
Ferries are out, leaving bridges and tunnels as the only choices for future interprovincial crossings in the capital — and the team studying 10 possible sites wants input into where one should go.
At a project update yesterday, the Interprovincial Crossings Environmental Assessment (ICEA) team announced it would use upcoming public consultations to narrow a list of 10 possible crossings to a location in each of the east and west ends of Ottawa. The team also ruled out ferries as a crossing option, saying they’re unable to serve the expected demand.
Public consultations will run from Feb. 12 to 25 in Ottawa and Gatineau. Project consultant Steve Taylor said he hopes the public will bring forward concerns with having the bridges in their area.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we’re committed to a public process that will lead to an informed decision,” said Francois Lapointe, the project manager with the National Capital Commission. “It is very important that the public participate.”
Traffic studies predict the most used crossing would be at Kettle Island, but other corridors proposed include two Lac Deschenes sites, Riddell Drive to Highway 148 near Pink Road; Lower Duck Island; Boulevard de Allumettières, Gatineau Airport, Montée Mineault, Petrie Island and Masson-Angers Cumberland.
After consultants receive public comments, they will measure the performance and cost of each location and prioritize them. “We will compare them all,” said project consultant Raynald Ledoux.
A third round of public consultations will follow once two locations are chosen.
The capital’s five existing interprovincial bridges have been at capacity for 20 years, said Taylor. But it falls to governments to support one of the options — something that’s proven difficult in the past and which provincial transport representatives yesterday said still wasn’t guaranteed.
“We can’t commit to anything,” said Phil Pawliuk, with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Jacques Filion, a regional director for Transport Quebec, said his province would “have to see later about the financing.
“It’s too early to make a decision.”