A Sound Strategy for Improving Mobility Options in Ottawa
As part of a strategy to create a healthier, more livable city, the City of Ottawa has embarked on an effort to change travel behavior through pedestrian and cycling network improvements. While Ottawa boasts an extensive and well-used active transportation network, physical barriers to walking and cycling remain. Specifically, the 2-km stretch of the Rideau Canal between the Bank Street and Pretoria Bridges divides two important urban communities, and represents the longest linear barrier to active transportation in the urban area.
Design challenges the Ottawa Bridge Engineering group faced in building a bridge at this site included year-round canal operations, and the availability of sufficient space to accommodate a bridge of appropriate size and scale for the Rideau Canal landscape.
A Multidisciplinary Approach
WSP’s multidisciplinary design team has been responsible for delivering the project from planning stage, through preliminary and detailed design, and now are providing contract administration services and engineering services during construction to the City.
The bridge design includes pedestrian lookouts, and sustainable design elements such as sustainably harvested wood for the bridge handrails, and energy-efficient LED lighting. The bridge is expected to foster healthy communities by encouraging an estimate shift of 2,500 trips every day from personal vehicles to active transportation modes, shortening commute times for thousands of Ottawa residents and offering a dedicated active and sustainable transportation route to schools, work, entertainment and shopping sites.