Footbridge Takes Shape 

A worker carefully guides the 27 tonne switchback girder into place.

A worker carefully guides the 27 tonne switchback girder into place.


While many of us simply tried to cope with another unusual winter, construction of the Clegg-Fifth footbridge pushed ahead and, by the end of June of this year, the steel span across the Canal will be installed. 

Much remains to be done and the scheduled opening remains the summer of 2019, but over the winter the concrete piers in the canal, complete with their seating for skate changing, were completed as was the eastern abutment. The Glebe-side abutment should be finished by the beginning of May. 

Another piece of good news is that the Colonel By pathway has been reinstated while an old water main is being replaced. The City is doing this work in conjunction with the bridge construction to avoid a separate and disruptive construction project later on. 

“Once the water main work is complete the pathway detour will be reinstated to allow the contractor access to the east-side working pad in the Canal,” says Carina Duclos, Manager, Design and Construction. “We do anticipate that the Colonel By pathway will be reinstated before the new bridge opens.” 

The crushed stone “working pads” around the piers in the Canal will accommodate a large crane when it lifts the V-shaped vertical supports onto the tops of the concrete piers and then lifts the bridge girders onto the V-supports. 

“The entire bridge consists of eight structural steel segments,” says Duclos. “There are two V-piers which sit atop the concrete piers and five girders over the Canal span. In addition, the switchback on the Ottawa East side has one girder.”  

The switchback girder was installed in April with the operation going perfectly, according to the construction crew. The 30 metre-long girder weighing 27 tonnes was unloaded from a flat-bed truck and raised into place in about an hour.  

Three girders have already been fabricated in North Bay and fabrication of the remaining three, along with the two V-piers is underway. The bridge girders and V-piers are scheduled to arrive and be installed in June.  

Construction of the ramps and remaining east-side switchback elements will follow the bridge girder installation.  After the bridge steel is installed, the contractor will form and pour the concrete deck and then install the railings and deck waterproofing. 

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