Exciting news: the LRT is now open!

It is incredibly exciting that the LRT Stage 1 is launching. With the initial public launch taking place over the weekend, riders will get the chance to become familiar with the Confederation Line, the trains, and the brand new stations.

However the real test is Monday, when thousands of OC Transpo riders will be taking their first commute into work and school. With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to share some tools from OC Transpo which can help ease the transition on to the new LRT.

Rest assured that residents will have the plenty of opportunity to become familiar with the new system, and the existing bus routes will continue to run alongside the LRT until October 6. After that time, most of the routes through downtown will be discontinued, and new neighborhood routes will serve the surrounding communities and feed into the new LRT stations.

Route changes : https://www.octranspo.com/en/ready-for-rail/new-transit-service/my-route/

Neighbourhood services: https://www.octranspo.com/en/ready-for-rail/my-trip/station-neighbourhoods/ottawa-east

Where to buy fare: https://www.octranspo.com/en/ready-for-rail/fares-tickets/where-will-i-buy-my-fare/

LRT Station explorer: https://www.octranspo.com/en/ready-for-rail/designed-with-you-in-mind/my-station/

Trip changes: https://www.octranspo.com/en/ready-for-rail/my-trip/how-will-it-change-my-trip/

Councillor to Table motion for additional Crossing guards

At today’s Transportation Committee, I will table a motion in support of the City of Ottawa funding all 16 warranted crossing guard positions as identified necessary by the City.

The City of Ottawa provides crossing guard services for children going to elementary schools at intersections that have met the criteria laid out by the Transportation Services Department with the City of Ottawa.

Today, I am asking that the City fund all the crossings that have met the necessary criteria, and warrant a crossing guard, as funding 10 out of the 16 locations seems to be a relatively arbitrary cut-off.

Stage 2 LRT Project Update

July 22, 2019 to August 4, 2019

Overall

  • Preparatory activities (borehole drilling, top soil stripping, site office mobilization, preconstruction surveys, etc.) are currently underway on each O-Train extension to facilitate the commencement of Stage 2 construction activities in 2019.

O-Train Trillium Line South Extension

  • Borehole drilling between Greenboro Station and Bayview Station 
    • Borehole drilling is scheduled to occur at night between late-July and mid-August between Greenboro Station and Bayview Station. This work will occur at night while the O-Train Trillium Line is not in service to minimize disruptions to transit operations.
    • Some hydrovacing is required at each station for utility investigations.
  • Preparatory works at Walkley Maintenance and Storage Facility
    • In coordination with OC Transpo Rail Operations, preparatory works such as surveying, clean up, trackwork and fencing are underway at the future site of the new Walkley Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility. 
  • Uplands Structures Yard set up
    • Light post installation is now complete. 
    • Crews will be connecting utilities to site trailers in preparation for occupation later this summer.
  • Jersey barrier installation
    • Crews will be installing jersey barriers overnight between late-July and mid-August at the following locations:
      • Airport Parkway
      • Uplands Drive
      • Lester Road
      • Leitrim Road
    • This work is scheduled to take place at night to minimize disruptions to local traffic.
  • Caisson drilling at future Trillium Line rail bridges
    • Caisson drilling is a method of creating structural foundations where boreholes are drilled and filled with concrete/reinforcing materials. These weight-bearing concrete columns (perhaps supplemented by steel cages or other reinforcements) can reach all the way down to the bedrock, providing for a much more stable base for large structures.
    • Caisson drilling is anticipated to begin later this summer in the following locations where new rail bridges will be constructed:
      • Airport Parkway
      • Uplands Drive
      • Lester Road
      • Leitrim Road
    • Crews have commenced construction of crane pads at all of the above locations to support upcoming drilling activities.
  • Crews have started to remove topsoil and lay gravel between Uplands Drive and the main Trillium Line. Excess soil is being trucked to the Bowesville/Earl Armstrong laydown site and stockpiled for future use. Once complete, crews will commence topsoil removal activities between Uplands Drive and Airport Station.
  • Noise and Vibration monitoring
    • Baseline noise and vibration monitoring is underway at properties near the Trillium Line alignment to ensure that construction and rail activities comply with applicable regulations and requirements.

O-Train Confederation Line East Extension

  • Borehole drilling is currently underway along OR 174 between Blair Road & Trim Road (night work).
  • Pre-construction surveys
    • East-West Connectors (EWC) have retained DST Consulting Engineers to carry out a pre-construction survey of the homes and buildings located within close proximity to the project. They will be documenting properties to establish the existing conditions of the interior and exterior of buildings near the alignment, prior to construction.
  • East day-to-day work yard set up (Montreal Road and OR 174)
    • Crews have completed the installation of the granular pad and fencing.
    • Utility work and site servicing to follow.
    • This site will be used for the coordination of Confederation Line East construction activities support temporary modular trailer complex, parking spaces and a day-today yard.

O-Train Confederation Line West Extension

  • Borehole drilling is currently underway in the following locations:
    • Lincoln Fields Station
    • Between Pinecrest Station & Connaught Tunnel
    • Bayshore Station
    • Lincoln Fields Tunnel Portal
    • West of Moodie Station 
  • Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway Cut and Cover Tunnel Preparatory Works
    • The Sir John A. Macdonald (SJAM) Parkway is shifting north to accommodate the space required to construct a cut-and-cover tunnel between Dominion Station and Cleary Avenue.
    • Crews have commenced preparatory activities to realign the SJAM by installing signage, fencing and temporary concrete barriers. 
    • Topsoil removal is underway. 
    • Roadworks are anticipated to begin in areas where topsoil removal has been completed.
    • Off-peak lane reductions between Dominion Avenue and Cleary Avenue are anticipated to occur until late October. Eastbound and Westbound traffic will be maintained at all times.
    • The City of Ottawa continues to coordinate with the NCC’s Public Affairs Office to provide appropriate public notification (signage, resident notices, web updates, etc.) 
  • West day-to-day work yard set up
    • Work has commenced to construct granular pad near Baseline Road and Navaho Drive/Transitway to support temporary modular trailer complex, parking spaces and a day-to-day yard. 
    • This site will be used for the coordination of Confederation Line West construction activities.
  • Building demolition
    • Building demolition is scheduled to occur in September 2019 within the project limits:
      • On the east side of Connaught Avenue between Severn Avenue and Hanlon Avenue (three houses) 
      • On Richmond Road, east of Cleary Avenue (one strip mall). 
  • Rochester Field Archeological Investigation 
    • In coordination with the NCC and local indigenous stakeholders, EWC is performing an archeological investigation at Rochester Fields. 
    • Once complete, work will commence to transition this location to a laydown area.
  • Pre-construction surveys
    • East-West Connectors (EWC) have retained DST Consulting Engineers to carry out a pre-construction survey of the homes and buildings located within close proximity to the project. As indicated in the east update, DST will be documenting properties to establish the existing conditions of the interior and exterior of buildings near the alignment, prior to the start of construction.

Brian Coburn Extension Update

Today, city staff have come back with an update on the Brian Coburn Extension project. I am pleased to see progress on this very important file, as Innes Ward both needs and deserves adequate roadway infrastructure for residents. I will continue to work with the community and city staff to ensure the needs of our community are being met.

The key points in this update are:

  • The expanded project scope, which includes the widening of Blair Road for combined bus only and high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
  • The short-listing of the roadway and Bus Rapid Transit proposals from seven to four viable options.
  • The evaluation criteria for the four remaining options developed in consultation with the NCC.

Staff have additionally advised that the next steps for this project will include further community consultations, with an additional open house expected to take place this fall. During this consultation period, they will present the following information:

  • Evaluation and assessment of the four roadway and bus rapid transit ultimate options and the recommended option.
  • Recommended short-term and affordable Transit Priority solutions (Chapel Hill Park and Ride to Blair Road at Innes Road).
  • Recommended design options for the Blair Road widening for Transit Priority.

For more information on this project, including plans highlighting the four shortlisted options, please visit: https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-engagement/projects/brian-coburn-extension-cumberland-transitway-westerly-alternate-corridor-ea-study

Federal government adds $1 Million to planned arena renovation

Today, the federal government announced it was joining the City of Ottawa and providing $1 million towards the renovation and expansion of the Blackburn Arena. This renovation is a key infrastructure renewal project for the City, one that invests in the local community to make the arena a more inclusive and functional space. With the federal government providing $1 million, the City of Ottawa is providing the balance of approximately $4 million for the total $5 million project.

 “As a city, we need to continue to invest in our community facilities. The arena is a true community hub, where families have come to play sports and participate in events for decades. These investments in our community’s social assets are just as important as other city infrastructure projects, and today’s announcement ensures that we are leaving a legacy to future generations,” said Innes Ward Councillor Laura Dudas.

The Blackburn Arena renovation is the product of much community consultation and negotiation with the different levels of government. The renovation will include two alternate needs rooms, four new dressing rooms, a community multi-purpose space for events, and an expanded front lobby. The proposed project is expected to begin construction in summer of 2020

Still currently in the design phase, the renovation of the Blackburn Arena is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

LRT Stage 1 Update

Today, I have been updated with news from OC Transpo having received a submission from Rideau Transit Group (RTG), which in their opinion have reached substantial completion on the Stage-1 Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.

The current status of the LRT project is that the train will undergo 12 days of rigorous testing by an independent certifier to ensure any deficiencies are corrected by the transit consortium.

The purpose of the testing will be to address :

  • Safety
  • Operational testing (Travel times for peak and off-peak period)
  • Maintenance activities
  • Vehicle performance
  • Customer care systems testing

During this testing period trains will possibly not be moving on tracks, however testing is being done on other portions of the project. Upon completion of the testing period, if successful, RTG will handover the project to the City of Ottawa to continue testing procedures as part of its agreement to reach Revenue service availability.

Public consultation essential regarding Groupe Lépine development proposed for 3490 and 3484 Innes Road

Recently, the Groupe Lépine proposed a development for 3490 and 3484 Innes Road. This project would bring a level of density to Innes Road that is unprecedented in the area and would be a significant change to the existing design of the neighborhood.

While I recognize that rental accommodations geared towards older adults are needed in our community, and this project would help ensure that many seniors are able to stay in the community, a large-scale development such as this would nonetheless put massive pressure on our already overburdened road infrastructure. While many neighborhoods have grown or been added along the Innes Road stretch, there has not been matching growth in substantial arterial roadways and alternate routes to support them.

A project of this magnitude requires a significant amount of community input and a chance for residents to share their thoughts and concerns.

Right now, the City is asking for public feedback on the developer’s request to rezone the land to allow for more density. City staff will take this initial round of comments and share it with the developer after August 13, 2019.

Based on those comments, the developer will be asked by the City to make changes to address the community’s concerns, and to come back with an updated plan.

Residents will then continue to be asked for comments well into the fall, as City staff prepare their report.

This is a significant development being suggested for our community. Although the City does not require the developer to hold any public meetings in addition to the online consultation, I ran on a platform of ensuring smart infrastructure planning becoming the norm, and communities having a greater say in how future developments will shape their neighborhood. With that in mind, I will be organizing a meeting in early September for our community to pose their questions directly to the developer. It is important that we as residents have the most accurate and up-to-date information as possible, in order to provide an informed and honest response to the developer and the city.

I will be sharing details about the public meeting as soon as I have them. In the meantime, I ask that residents continue to send comments, whether good or bad, to the city planner, at Michael.Boughton@ottawa.ca.

Stage 2 LRT Project Update

July 8, 2019 to July 21, 2019

Overall

  • Preparatory activities (borehole drilling, silt fence installation, site office mobilization, preconstruction surveys, etc.) are currently underway on each O-Train extension to facilitate the commencement of Stage 2 construction activities in 2019.

O-Train Trillium Line South Extension

  • Uplands Structures Yard set up
    • Installation of fencing is now complete. Crews have commenced the installation of light posts and work trailers. 
    • This yard will be used for the coordination of Airport Link construction activities. 
  • Laydown areas will be established within close proximity to the Trillium Line near Bowesville Road and Uplands Drive. 
    • Site trailers have been set up and crews will begin to install temporary concrete barriers (TCBs) at each location.
    • TCB installation will take place at night to minimize impacts on local traffic.
  • Borehole drilling is currently underway in the following locations:
    • South Keys Station
    • Along the alignment between Leitrim Road and South Keys Station
  • Silt fence installation
    • Crews have almost completed the installation of 30,000 metres of silt fence along the perimeter of the Trillium Line O-Train south extension from Greenboro Station to terminus stations (Airport Station & Limebank Station). 
    • To date, approximately 90% of the work has been completed.
  • Stump pulling and grinding between Hunt Club Road and Limebank Road/Uplands Drive is now complete.
  • Crews have started to strip lands (i.e. topsoil removal) between Uplands Drive and the mainline.
  • Noise and Vibration monitoring
    • Baseline noise and vibration monitoring is taking place at properties near the Trillium Line alignment to ensure that construction and rail activities comply with applicable regulations and requirements
  • Ongoing works at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
    • In coordination with the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority (OMCIAA), crews are continuing to fence off Airport lands where work will occur.
  • Preparatory works at Walkley MSF
    • Preliminary preparatory work such as survey control, clean up and fencing have commenced at the future site of the new Walkley Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility. 
    • TransitNEXT will be coordinating with Capital Rail to leverage shutdown time for geotechnical investigations nearby Walkley MSF.

O-Train Confederation Line East Extension

  • Borehole drilling is currently underway at the following locations:
    • Montreal Road & OR 174 Interchange
    • Montreal Flyover
    • Trim Road
    • OR 174 median lanes (night work) between Blair Road & Trim Road
  • East day-to-day work yard set up
    • Crews will begin constructing a granular pad near Montreal Road and OR 174 to support temporary modular trailer complex, parking spaces and a day-to-day yard 
    • Work has commenced to strip top soil and pave yard access points.
    • This site will be used for the coordination of Confederation Line East construction activities
  • Pre-construction surveys
    • East-West Connectors (EWC) have retained DST Consulting Engineers to carry out a pre-construction survey of the homes and buildings located within close proximity to the project. They will be documenting properties to establish the existing conditions of the interior and exterior of buildings near the alignment, prior to construction.

O-Train Confederation Line West Extension

  • Borehole drilling currently underway in the following locations:
    • Lincoln Fields Station
    • New Orchard Station
    • Between Pinecrest Station & Connaught Tunnel
    • Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway (near Churchill Avenue) 
  • Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway Cut and Cover Tunnel Preparatory Works
    • The Sir John A. Macdonald (SJAM) Parkway is shifting north to accommodate the space required to construct a cut-and-cover tunnel between Dominion Station and Cleary Avenue
    • Crews have commenced preparatory activities to realign the SJAM by installing signage, fencing and temporary concrete barriers. Topsoil stripping will commence upon the completion of barrier installation. 
    • From July to October 2019, Sir John A MacDonald Parkway will have off-peak lane reductions between Dominion Avenue and Cleary Avenue. Eastbound and Westbound traffic will be maintained at all times.
    • The City of Ottawa continues to coordinate with the NCC’s Public Affairs Office to provide appropriate public notification (PVMS, resident notices, web updates, etc.) 
    • Crews are targeting to have the east bound lanes completed by this fall and the west bound lanes complete by spring 2020
  • West day-to-day work yard set up
    • Work has commenced to construct granular pad near Baseline Road and Navaho Drive/Transitway to support temporary modular trailer complex, parking spaces and a day-to-day yard. 
    • This site will be used for the coordination of Confederation Line West construction activities.
  • Building demolition
    • Building demolition is scheduled to occur in September 2019 within the project limits:
      • On the east side of Connaught Avenue between Severn Avenue and Hanlon Avenue (three houses) 
      • On Richmond Road, east of Cleary Avenue (one strip mall). 
  • Pre-construction surveys
    • East-West Connectors (EWC) have retained DST Consulting Engineers to carry out a pre-construction survey of the homes and buildings located within close proximity to the project. As indicated in the east update, DST will be documenting properties to establish the existing conditions of the interior and exterior of buildings near the alignment, prior to construction.