Main Street transformation a ‘complete street’ success

These guys were top dogs making lots of hot dogs at the Main Event. BBQ’ers from Left to Right: Phyllis Odenbach Sutton, Sue Beattie, Wendy McRae, Don Fugler, Andrew Power, Mckenzie Buchanan, Doug Woolige, Jan d'Arcy, Alex Beattie. Photo: John Dance

These guys were top dogs making lots of hot dogs at the Main Event. BBQ’ers from Left to Right: Phyllis Odenbach Sutton, Sue Beattie, Wendy McRae, Don Fugler, Andrew Power, Mckenzie Buchanan, Doug Woolige, Jan d’Arcy, Alex Beattie. Photo: John Dance

By John Dance

Old Ottawa East has had lots to celebrate this year. The recent Main Event was the official reopening of Main Street and a celebration of those who made it happen.

The “new” Main Street features wider sidewalks, protected cycle lanes, extensive tree planting, new street lighting and amenities, as well as new public artwork by Stuart Kinmond, entitled Main2.

The transformed street is a result of decades of traffic calming efforts, a community design plan, two years of working-group discussions and close to three years of construction.

The catalyst for the Main Street reconstruction project was the unavoidable need to dig up the entire street to replace the century-old deteriorated watermain and sewer lines. Given the roadway had to be rebuilt, the City of Ottawa decided to explore options for making the street more complete.

“The easy way would have been to rebuild Main (Street) in the same community-dividing, dangerous, unhealthy and ugly form it had,” said Phyllis Odenbach Sutton, president of Old Ottawa East Community Association. “Instead, we now have a street that embraces the community and allows motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and businesses to all safely and enjoyably use the road and new sidewalks,” she said.

“Coun. David Chernushenko deserves great credit,” she said at the as she presented him at Main Event with a neck pendant holding a jagged, corroded piece of the antiquated excavated watermain.

Odenbach Sutton also praised Mayor Jim Watson and transportation committee chair Coun. Keith Egli for their strong support of the controversial project. “It took courage, and these politicians demonstrated it.”

Project manager Josée Vallée, who led the five-year effort, drew particular commendation.

“It is impossible to overstate her role; she was always available, responsive, positive, clear, creative; and she shared information and consulted,” said Phyllis.

For Vallée, the community of OOE deserves great praise for their patience and cooperation.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community association and all residents of Old Ottawa East for their patience and cooperation during construction,” said add.

“While we (the construction team) enjoy construction (on most days anyway), it is quite taxing for residents to live in a construction zone with dust, noise, vibration and major traffic disruption for two and a half years. You guys have been troopers, believed in us and made my job easier!”

Odenbach Sutton also thanks community association members, business and church representatives who participated in meetings with the city on issues related to the reconstruction.

In addition, various city staff, contractors and consultants including, Kornel Mucsi, Robin Bennett, Ron Clarke and Shaun Fraser made major contributions. The community association will be planting a tree to honour them.

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Filed in: FP, Front Page, Main Street Renewal

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