Ottawa will once again utilize new technology

One good turn deserves another.


For the second time in a year, the Ministry of Transportation will use a proven groundbreaking technology to quickly replace a section of Highway 417 when it pops out and replaces a 500-tonne section of the Queensway over Clyde Avenue — in less than 24-hours between Aug. 2 and 3.


The MTO made history in 2007 when it used rapid-replacement technology to replace the Island Park Bridge in a record-breaking 15 hours last August. The project drew crowds of spectators, some of whom stayed to watch overnight.


Scheduled for the Civic long weekend, the Clyde Avenue replacement will take approximately 17 hours, said Brandy Duhaime, spokeswoman for MTO’s eastern region.


Highway 417 will be shut down between Carling and Maitland avenues at 6 p.m. on Aug. 2 and should reopen by noon on Aug. 3.

The process lifts the old bridge out using self-propelled modular transporters — made from a series of flatbed trailers manoeuvred by hydraulic suspensions — and replaces it with a pre-constructed bridge. The same technique as last year will be employed, but there are a few site-specific differences between the Island Park Drive project and this year’s replacement over Clyde Avenue.

The staging area for the construction is a bit further than in the past, located at the City of Ottawa’s snow removal area at the end of Clyde Avenue.

This year’s replacement is expected to generate just as much interest as last year’s, when over 1,000 people came out to watch.

“There are a lot of businesses in the area,” Duhaime said.

A multi-million dollar construction contract was tendered to conduct this work, which also includes replacing the existing concrete median barrier and upgrading the advanced traffic management system.