Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

May 07, 2009 11:45 ET

Government of Canada Announces Significant Investment in the Chaudiere and Alexandra Bridges

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 7, 2009) - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and John Baird, Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, and Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced funding for the rehabilitation of the Alexandra Bridge and the repair and restoration of the Chaudiere Crossing.

"Funding from the Government's 2009 Economic Action Plan will ensure that vital infrastructure projects, such as the Alexandra Bridge and Chaudiere Crossing, are carried to term for the benefit of local communities and the economy," said Minister Cannon. "With the implementation of the Economic Action Plan, the Government is responding to unprecedented economic challenges facing our country by investing in infrastructure projects that will create jobs and provide short-term stimulus for the industry."

"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the first priority of our Government is to create jobs, cut red tape, and boost regional economies," said Minister Baird. "These important investments in our National Capital bridge system will help to ensure that we emerge from this economic downturn with solid, safe and modern infrastructure."

Public Works and Government Services Canada is the custodian of the Alexandra Bridge and the Chaudiere Crossing in the National Capital Region.

Beyond today's announcement, the Government of Canada is taking important steps to support economic growth. Canada's Economic Action Plan, announced in Budget 2009, is a balanced stimulus plan that includes massive investments in infrastructure, tax relief and transfers. This plan will provide close to $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over two years, which will address needs in communities across Canada, as well as contributing to long-term economic growth through investments in public infrastructure, such as federal buildings, roads, water treatment, green energy and transit.


Alexandra Bridge

The Alexandra Bridge is one of the five bridges crossing the Ottawa River in the National Capital Area (NCA). It links Sussex Drive in Ottawa to Laurier Street in Gatineau- providing a quick link between the tourist attractions of the Byward Market/Sussex Drive/Rideau Street area and the Canadian Museum of Civilization area in Gatineau.

The Alexandra Bridge forms part of the National Capital Commission's (NCC) official ceremonial route, and has been designated a national historic engineering site by the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering (CSCE). It is also an important link for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists travelling between Gatineau and Ottawa.

A contract for the rehabilitation of the bridge was awarded in February 2009 to the construction firm Pomerleau Inc. of Montreal. The work will involve replacing sections of the structure that are coming close to the end of their lifespan, and to upgrade the bridge to meet modern standards. With this contract award, PWGSC is ensuring best value for money for Canadian taxpayers while demonstrating its commitment to preserving the integrity of bridges under its custody.

Built in 1901, Alexandra Bridge underwent a major rehabilitation in 1975, when all the traveled deck areas were replaced. It was repainted in 1995-96, and while it has received ongoing maintenance, it is now in need of another major rehabilitation and upgrade to meet modern structural standards.

The bridge is heavily used by vehicles, carrying 10 percent of the daily Ottawa River vehicle crossings in the NCA; averaging more than 15,000 vehicles per day. The Societe des transports de l'Outaouais (STO) currently has 155 bus runs crossing the Alexandra Bridge each day from Gatineau to Ottawa. The Alexandra Bridge is the bridge used by the most pedestrians and cyclists-carrying an average of 1,300 cyclists and 2,000 pedestrians per day.

Chaudiere Crossing

Constructed in the late 1820s, the Chaudiere Crossing is the oldest bridge in the National Capital Region and, as such, an important national historic symbol for Canadians. The bridge consists of several spans, crossing over Chaudiere and Victoria Islands, linking Rue Eddy in the Hull sector of Gatineau and Booth Street in Ottawa.

Part of the funding announced today will be invested in the repair and restoration of the Chaudiere Crossing. An engineering report on the structural condition and capacity of the Chaudiere Bridge has been received and recommendations on a repair program are being reviewed. Additional information will be made available shortly. Once the repair program is identified, PWGSC will move forward with the development of plans, specifications and contract documents.

The Chaudiere Crossing consists of nine structures:

1. The Bronson Channel Span consists of two 15.24 m (50 ft.) spans of concrete slabs constructed in 1968 with the abutments utilizing the original masonry piers constructed in 1900.

2. The Ottawa Hydro Electric Power Commission Channel Span is a single span concrete deck structure located directly north of the Bronson Channel Span. The roadway width is 12.19 m (40 ft.) with a sidewalk on each side.

3. The Buchanan Channel Span is a large diameter steel plate culvert located directly north of the Ottawa Hydro Electric Power Commission Channel Span. The Ottawa Hydro Electric Power Commission Channel Span and Buchanan Span have a total length of approximately 79.25 m. (260 ft.) The roadway width is 12.19 m (40 ft.) with a sidewalk on each side.

4. The Union Bridge (green structure), constructed in 1919, is a 73.0 m (239.50 ft.) single span steel truss spanning the main channel of the Ottawa River. The roadway width is 11.58 m (38 ft.) with a 1.02 m (3.35 ft.) sidewalk carried outside the truss on the downstream side.

5. Arch No. 1 is a 12 m (39.37 ft.) span stone masonry arch structure made of limestone directly north of the Union Bridge. The structure was constructed in 1843. A new distribution slab complete with waterproofing and new asphalt pavement was installed as part of the rehabilitation work in 2004. Arch No. 2 is filled-in and no longer in use.

6. Arch No. 3 is a span stone masonry arch located north of Arch No. 1 and the filled-in Arch No.2. The Arch, made of limestone, spans 16 m (52.49 ft.) and carries an 8.7 metres wide roadway. It was constructed in 1827. A new concrete distribution slab complete with asphalt pavement and waterproofing was installed and repairs to the concrete and catch basins were carried out in 2004.

7. The Hull Trestle consists of a steel girder supported on steel columns and concrete foundations. The structure spans approximately 70 m (230 ft.).

8. The Hull Causeway bridge, constructed in 1956 and rehabilitated in 1982, is a four span steel plate girder bridge with a concrete slab. The deck was repaired in 1984 and the structure was re-coated in 1995.

9. The Hull Slide Bridge is located north of Domtar company entrance and falls under the jurisdiction of the National Capital Commission (NCC).

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Paradis
    Mary-Ann Dewey-Plante
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Cannon
    Natalie Sarafian
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Baird
    Chris Day
    Press Secretary
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations