Flora Footbridge wins urban design and construction awards

By John Dance

The Flora Footbridge won two of the six available awards for this year’s “Ottawa’s best in urban design.”

The project’s team was presented with the award for excellence in both “public places and civic spaces” and “urban elements.” Flora also won the award of merit in the bridge category at this year’s Canadian Institute of Steel Construction awards.

In the first four months of the bridge’s operation, over 330,000 crossings were counted.

Meanwhile, City staff report that various “minor deficiencies” continue to be corrected. “The bridge deck lighting has been changed due to a wiring correction made to the lighting system,” according to the City’s Carina Duclos. The result is a brighter surface for users.

Lighting levels on the actual structure are also being adjusted. “Dimmers have been installed under the deck and will also be installed on the v-piers,” says Duclos.

“Lighting on the v-piers has been temporarily turned off to address minor wiring deficiencies. Lighting levels will be reviewed again once all dimmers have been installed and deficiencies have been addressed.”

Some residents regard the lighting as too bright and white.

The bridge’s public art in the form of uniquely designed benches has been installed, with one bench at the foot of the eastern stairs and the other by the Glebe-side lily pond.

Shortly after the big snowstorm of November the City blocked off the stairs on the OOE side of the footbridge. “Stairs are only maintained when there is no alternate route in close proximity,” Luc
Gagne, Director, Road Services for the City told The Mainstreeter two years ago.

As with the Corktown footbridge, Flora has a ramp immediately adjacent to the stairs and the City deems it “a more efficient use of resources, more cost effective, creates less liability and ensures
accessible access for everyone when [just] the ramp is maintained.”

Nevertheless, some users of the bridge were not happy with the stair closure and the extra 120 metres of walking this necessitates.

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