Main Street northbound traffic restrictions begin Monday

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City of Ottawa

Beginning on Monday, May 25, Main Street construction will be in full-swing and will result in traffic restrictions. Northbound traffic will not be permitted on Main Street between Clegg Street and Lees Avenue and between Greenfield Road and Echo Drive. One lane of traffic will remain open in the southbound direction. These restrictions are required to complete the Main Street Renewal Project and will be in effect until the summer of 2016.

Infrastructure on Main Street is old and is in need of replacement. The Main Street Renewal Project will replace watermains, sanitary, storm and combined sewers. Main Street will be renewed as a “Complete Street” and will also include cycle tracks, wider sidewalks, on-street parking, and space for streetscaping.

Traffic impacts are expected to be high during this construction activity. Motorists should expect delays or avoid the area if possible.

Northbound motorists and cyclists will be detoured via Riverside Drive, Bank Street and Isabella Street. OC Transpo Routes 5 and 16 will also be detoured. Please visit for further information.

During construction businesses remain open as usual.

With all of the construction-related activities underway, residents are encouraged to be flexible with commuting times, stagger work hours or use alternative means for travel. The public is asked to consider options such as transit, walking, cycling or carpooling.

The City of Ottawa has tools on to help motorists and transit users plan their routes and manage their commute including:

For current information about traffic and construction around the city, visit

This work is part of Ottawa on the Move. Ottawa on the Move is about keeping our community and economy moving forward through strategic investments in a number of transportation, water, and sewer projects to build a better city and create jobs.

Old Ottawa East braces for Main St. construction

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Work to transform road into ‘complete street’ starts May 24

Main Street Construction

By Alex Robinson, Ottawa Community News

Residents, commuters and business owners are bracing for disruption as construction is set to begin on the Main Street redevelopment project.

The plan, which will transform the road into a “complete street,” will close down lanes on large portions of the roads over two years, beginning May 24.

While happy with the ultimate goal of making the street friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists, many residents expressed concern that commuters will cut through their neighbourhood during the construction.

In order to try to alleviate this problem, the city has bought four speed boards for the project that will be used in a variety of locations as construction progresses to slow drivers down.

“Speed is the real issue,” project manager Josée Valée said at an open house the city held on May 11 to inform residents about the construction. “We can only address volume so much. We want to make sure that if they do travel through the neighbourhood that they travel at a reasonable speed so it’s safe.”

The city also has a number of other traffic control devices it might use depending on the data it gets back from its speed boards, such as installing speed bumps, banning left turns onto certain roads and narrowing side streets, Valée said.

The city is also hoping to encourage commuters to take alternate routes and to avoid driving down Main Street unless they absolutely have to.

The redevelopment plan, which was approved by city council in 2013, will widen sidewalks and install bike lanes along Main Street. This will limit the number of lanes for vehicular traffic down to one in each direction at many points along the street with the hope of slowing drivers down.

The work will also include replacing the water mains, the combined sewer system and installing public artworks.

Having experienced the Bank Street reconstruction in the Glebe a few years earlier, Capital Coun. David Chernushenko said the problems caused by construction will be a headache, but will only be temporary.

“It’s going to be congested. It’s going to be noisy. It’s going to be dusty,” he said. “It’s going to be two years, but let’s support each other. We’ll get through this.”

Have your say: Oblates Park design

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The design process for the future Oblates Park at 175 Main St. has begun, and the City of Ottawa is seeking feedback on the proposed Principles for Park Design and the types of amenities people would like to see in this public space planned for the Oblate Lands redevelopment.

The principles will be used both to help develop alternative designs for the future park space, and to evaluate designs. Feedback on amenities will help determine what features are most important for the park. A list of existing amenities in nearby parks is available as background information.   
The City has requested feedback on the principles and amenities by Friday, May 22, via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
An open house and public workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the gymnasium of Lady Evelyn Alternative School at 63 Evelyn Ave. Participants will have the opportunity drop in, view and provide feedback on conceptual design options for the future park. There will be no formal presentation.

The Oblates Park area includes the Grande Allée and the Forecourt in front of the Deschâtelets building. It does not include the waterfront. Because the park is limited in size, the community envisions flexible use of the space.

Main St. transformation begins

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Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

Downtown commuters, prepare to be exiled from Main St.

It will be one of the most disruptive road construction projects in Ottawa as the city redesigns the busy 2-km thoroughfare in Old Ottawa East.

Work has already started but major road closures are expected to begin later this month.

The hallmark of the redesign is the "complete street" treatment. It's a buzz term that describes designing a street for all road users: Pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and motorists.

The city is holding an open house Monday at St. Paul University, Laframbroise Hall, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to go over two years of construction work, the detours and the final designs.

You have questions.

We have some answers.

Why is the city tearing up Main St.?
Everything about the corridor is old. The street, the surface utilities and the infrastructure below ground need a serious refresh. The sidewalks are pushed up against the road and narrow in some spots, even below the 1.8-m accessibility threshold. Many cyclists ride on the sidewalks rather than the road because the curb lane is also narrow.

How busy is Main St.?
It's a major corridor to the downtown that provides access options to both sides of the Rideau Canal, either via Hawthorne Ave. or Colonel By Dr. During the peak times there are 1,200 cars an hour driving down the street in one direction. The average travel time at the peak periods is 3-5 minutes through the entire corridor. In the off-peak hours, the city has recorded excessive speeds in the posted 50 km/h zone south of Clegg St. Up to 350 cyclists ride on Main St. daily.

Why is Main St. so special?
It functions as both an arterial road at the south end and a traditional mainstreet at the north end. It's supposed to carry large amounts of traffic but also be friendly to other modes of travel. Main St. is considered a top-tier cycling route. That's why the city wants to make it a complete street.

What's the complete street treatment?
Council approved a design that includes distinct cycle tracks and wider sidewalks with better streetscaping. The number of vehicle lanes will be reduced through the central and south sections, in some parts from four lanes to two, plus turn lanes. The city is banking on motorists choosing a different mode of transportation or finding another route. The city expects to see cycling traffic grow to 1,000-1,500 daily when the bike infrastructure is ready.

Twitter: @JonathanWilling

What to know

Road closures will be different in six sections of Main St., with intermittent closures through 2016 and 2017:

  • Starting at the northern end, there will be mostly only southbound traffic between Echo and Greenfield.
  • Greenfield to Hawthorne: There will be no northbound traffic starting mid-June.
  • Hawthorne to Lees: One lane in each direction open, except for two weeks in summer 2015.
  • Lees to Clegg: No northbound traffic. All lanes open in summer 2016, followed by intermittent closures.
  • Clegg to Riverside: One lane in each direction open, except for six-month northbound lane closure in 2015 or 2016.
  • Riverdale to McIlraith Bridge: One lane in each direction open.
  • Northbound traffic will need to use Bank St. to access the core via Riverside Dr. or Sunnyside Dr. via Riverdale Ave.
  • Cyclists who normally use Main St. will need to navigate around construction on the neighbourhood roads: Mutchmor Rd., Echo Dr. and Graham Ave.