Build Bridge Sooner: Watson and Chernushenko—but politicians offer no guarantees OOE canal bridge will be built soon

Calls for a pedestrian bridge spanning the Rideau Canal in Old Ottawa East returned this month, as candidates for capital ward councillor tried to assure voters they wanted a new bridge built sooner than planned.

Even Mayor Jim Watson, running for re-election, committed to build the bridge before the 2020-25 period the city had said would be the likely construction timeframe.

But at a gathering of councillor and mayoral candidates at the Glebe Community Centre Oct. 2, people heard few specifics.

Coun. David Chernushenko, aiming for re-election Oct. 27, said he would look for ways to advance bridge construction. He suggested private funding might be the solution that would deliver the bridge.

He also reminded audience members of his record in supporting the project, expected to cost about $17-million.

“I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has fought harder (for the bridge), except maybe John Dance,” Chernushenko said, singling out the president of the Old Ottawa East Community Association.

Scott Blurton, one of two people running to unseat Chernushenko, admitted he had been surprised to see the bridge’s construction delayed until the next decade. Blurton called for more pedestrian bridges in Old Ottawa South and Heron Park.

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