Sometime in the spring of 2014, the city will begin to tear up Main Street.
Traffic promises to be chaotic for two summers after that.
According to Josee Vallée, the city’s Project Manager for the reconstruction, the city will dig up Main Street from Echo Drive in the north to Rideau River Drive in the south, as well as parts of Rideau River Drive and Lees Avenue.
The project will include replacing or rehabilitating the watermains, storm sewers and sanitary sewers on Main Street and road reconstruction on Main, Rideau River Drive and Lees Avenue.
The project will also encompass the rehabilitation of the Brantwood gates, consideration of a traffic circle, presumably at the Riverdale-Main Street intersection, reconstruction of sidewalks, provision of street furniture and furnishings, streetscaping and the installation of public art.
The accompanying picture taken this April on Bronson Avenue, gives an indication of what Main Street could look like in two years’ time.
It is not clear at this point whether the work will be done in two phases, as was done on Bank and Preston streets, or all in one effort. The city has indicated that the phasing of the work will be determined during the design phase.
There is no indication yet how traffic will be diverted during the construction or how the Number 5 bus will be rerouted.
In March, the city issued a Request For Proposals to engineering consultants to undertake the preliminary designs and prepare tenders. The RFP contained a detailed statement of work, which included a number of features of interest to residents of Old Ottawa East.
Street reconstruction work could be separate from the rehabilitation of the McIlraith Bridge, but the two projects might be carried out at the same time. The work on Main Street is to be coordinated with the McIlraith bridge contract.
Area residents might be pleased to note the city insisted that Main Street work be carried out in conformity with the recently approved Community Design Plan. As a result, the rehabilitation should provide new sewer and water infrastructure that could accommodate developments, such as the proposed residential construction on the Oblate lands, and the property setbacks recommended in the CDP.
Residents have been adamant that any reconstruction of Main Street include the burying of utility lines along the street. This was a top priority during community discussions on the Community Design Plan.
However, the RFP only suggest that options for burying utility lines be examined.
While the work is scheduled to start in two years, Vallée anticipated that public consultations would begin in the fall of 2012 or winter of 2012-2013.
The Ottawa East Community Association has formed a committee of residents and business owners to be the focal point for communications with the city during the construction.