Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, July 18


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
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Tim Tierney


(Posted 6:30 a.m., May 22)
Lane reductions begin on westbound Hwy. 174

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

First the good news -- work is finally about to begin on fixing the split. Now the bad news -- it will be at least five years before east end commuters will benefit from the improvements.

Begining at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, the westbound lane of Hwy. 174 will be closed between the Blair Road on-ramp and the split. Other closures will be implemented as the work progresses including the closure of one westbound lane through the split itself under the Aviation Parkway overpass.

The work is being conducted to add a dedicated off ramp for St. Laurent Blvd., allowing for two westbound thru lanes on Hwy. 174. The catch is that one of the lanes will be turned into a bus only lane whle work is being conducted on converting the transitway to light rail. That work is expected to take two years to complete between 2015 and 2017.

Lane closures at the split is not the only headache east end commuters will have to endure over the next five years. Work has also begun on widening the Queensway in both directions between the split and Nicholas Street starting with the widening of the Cst. Robert Maki bridge over the Rideau River.

Starting mid-June, the eastbound Hwy. 417 on-ramp at Lees Avenue will be be closed to traffic until 2015.

The extra lanes will be dedicated for OC Transpo buses during the LRT project, which means motorists will not be able to benefit from the construction until 2017 at the earliest.

The work on the split and the Queensway is being wholly funded by the provincial government and represents a total investment of $220 million.

During the consturction period commuters are encouraged to leave their cars at home and use OC Transpo. To ease disruption for commuters and motorists, OC Transpo has increased bus service from the Trim Park & Ride Transitway station to downtown. There will be 11 additional transit trips added from Trim to downtown during the morning peak periods. There will be 12 additional transit trips added to the afternoon peak periods from downtown to Trim.

The lane reductions will also result in higher traffic volume on alternate routes including Ogilvie Road, Montreal Road and Innes Road.

Up-to-the-minute updates on lane closures can be found at http://ottawa.ca/cgi-bin/trafficreport/report_search.pl?lang=en.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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