Main Street reconstruction facing possible delay

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By Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — City council may be asked to approve a delay in the contentious reconstruction of Main Street, pushing most of the project's work from 2014 into 2015.

Coun. David Chernushenko, who represents the area, said he can probably live with "a few months' delay," but is adamant that the "complete street" design for Main must move ahead.

The Capital Ward councillor, who's a huge advocate for walking and cycling, characterizes the vote on the project as "my most important of this term of council." He spent the last week or so talking to councillors about the issue and believes he has the support 15 of his council colleagues.

The complete street concept gives equal consideration to walking, cycling and driving. Among other things, the proposed street design calls for four lanes of traffic to be reduced to two along an 800-metre stretch of Main.

While local residents love the idea, some fear the commute for Ottawa South residents who travel through Main to get downtown during rush hour will be backed up due to to lane reductions. City staff estimate cars may have to wait three extra minutes during peak periods.

The issue resulted in one of the most contentious committee meetings in recent memory.

Now it appears that council will be asked Wednesday to approve the project, but instead of building it next year, most of the construction would be completed in 2015.

The reason remains unclear.

Chernushenko said he was told that 2014 "was always going to be tight when we realized we had to do an environmental assessment." If the project has to be completed the following year, he's prepared to consider that, he said.

However, in a memo to councillors early Tuesday, city deputy manager Nancy Schepers provided information on costs of the various options for reconstructing Main Street that had been requested at the committee level. (Interestingly, building a "complete street" with sidewalks and bike lanes was cheaper than a conventional street, but could require more money for ongong maintenance.)

Nowhere in her memo did Schepers allude to the fact the project could be delayed.

Pushing the project into 2015 does carry a political risk: there will be a new term of council by then, and those future representatives could potentially delay, make changes to or cancel the project.

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Design of future park at Lansdowne unveiled at groundbreaking

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City of Ottawa on Monday displayed renderings of what the future park at Lansdowne will look like

CBC News

Renderings of the future park at Lansdowne were unveiled during a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.

Mayor Jim Watson said it's ironic that the current park mostly consists of concrete and very little green space.

The new park will include a large lawn, courtyards, a heritage orchard, an outdoor skating rink and a children's play area.

In total there will be about seven hectares of green space, and the park will have four times the amount of trees it currently has.

There will be parking underground at the site, but Coun. David Chernushenko, who was on hand today, said he hopes people will use other ways to get to the park than personal vehicles.

The park should be ready for use in the spring, the city said.

Lansdowne Park 'almost ready' for CFL kickoff in 2014

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By Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun

Most of the $42-million urban park at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park will be ready for public use when the CFL kicks off in 2014, the construction manager of the historic project said Monday.

Marco Manconi said workers will begin installing the underground utilities this summer and building Aberdeen Square, the future home of the farmers market.

A bus shuttle loop, courtyards, a children's playground and the refrigerated ice rink will follow.

Planting work will continue into 2015, but the city is expecting people will be enjoying most of the amenities by this time next year.

Greely firm wins $16M Lansdowne contract

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Ottawa firm D&G Landscaping has beat out three other qualified bidders to win the right to build the urban park that’s part of the City of Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park redevelopment project.

The Greely-based company will receive $16.28 million for its contribution to the project, which will include installing underground utilities and building a shuttle bus loop.

D&G submitted the lowest bid among the four companies who qualified, according to the City of Ottawa’s media relations department. That beat out Carillion Canada Inc., Doran Contractors Ltd. and the Ottawa Greenbelt Construction Co.

Elsewhere on the Glebe property, Frank Clair Stadium is currently being renovated and in some places rebuilt.

Local developer Minto is constructing new condo towers at the site while Trinity Development Group is getting ready to add close to 400,000 square feet of retail to the space. However news about one of the tenant’s exit from the movie industry has left one of the largest components of that space up in the air.

The firm is set to begin construction later this month, with a lot of the work will be done by spring 2014. D&G’s work is scheduled to be completed by summer of 2015, according to a City of Ottawa news release.