Ottawa City Council on Sep 14, 2016 voted 21-2 to set aside 2.5m$ in the 2017 budget for a detailed environmental assessment (EA) for this tunnel and commissioned the Mayor to approach the provincial and federal governments to also contribute to the funding of the EA on a 1/3 basis. The EA process includes significant opportunities for formal public consultations. It is expected it would take 3-4 years to complete.
The release of the Downtown Tunnel Feasibility Study occurred in Aug 2016 (delayed from Q1 2016). This Study examined several possible routes for a tunnel from the 417 to the Macdonald-Cartier bridge and concluded that a tunnel was technically feasible.
The recommended route for a tunnel would locate it's southern portal off the Vanier Parkway near Coventry Rd and continue under the Rideau River, East Sandy Hill, East Lowertown with the northern portal at the southern end of the Macdonald-Cartier bridge.
The proposed tunnel would be 3.4km long, would in fact be 2 separate tunnels (one for each direction of travel), with 2 lanes in each tunnel. The cost was estimated at between 1.7B$ and 2.0B$ (2015$). It was estimated that if the tunnel existed in 2016 that it would carry approximately 1700 trucks and 20,000-25,000 cars per day. During the peak afternoon period the car traffic would approach 1400 vehicles per hour and a forecast was made that this would increase to 2500 vehicles per hour by 2031. Unfortunately the Study did not provide any forecast for how much additional truck traffic the tunnel would carry by 2031.
The CCC welcomes this result and believes strongly that after 50 years of urban decay and several decades of failed solution attempts, that a viable solution must be found to the problem of over 2000 interprovincial trucks transiting through downtown streets every day.
Documents for Download:
Downtown Tunnel Feasibility Study Transportation Report
Downtown Tunnel Feasibility Study Final Report
The Study document and further supporting technical appendices (as of Aug 2016) can be downloaded from the City of Ottawa website at this link: http://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-consultations/transportation/study-documents
Apr 29, 2014
The City of Ottawa and the Ontario Ministry of Transport have released the RFP for a consultant to perform a feasibility study for a downtown truck tunnel intended to remove interprovincial trucks from King Edward Ave, Rideau St, and Waller. Bidders are to respond by May 15 and the study is expected to be completed in 15 months. The scope of the technical analysis that will be required is listed on pages 7-13 of this Tunnel Study RFP document.
Separately, representatives of Action Sandy Hill and the King Edward Ave Task Force met with Mayor Jim Watson's office on Apr 24th to outline their concerns/priorities for this study. A summary of some of the items discussed includes:
As part of the Nov 15, 2013 Transportation Committee Review of the 2013 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) a motion was passed to formally request the Province of Ontario to co-fund a feasibility study for a downtown tunnel between the 417 and the Macdonald-Cartier bridge. Following is the text of the motion:
CITY OF OTTAWA MOTION
DATE: NOV. 15, 2013
ITEM 1: TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN, OTTAWA PEDESTRIAN PLAN, AND OTTAWA CYCLING PLAN
MOVED BY: Councillor Fleury
WHEREAS the recent decision by the Ontario government to not proceed with a new inter-provincial bridge crossing has stalled the long-term solution to help alleviate heavy truck movements through the downtown area; and
WHEREAS there are approximately 2,500 trucks on a typical weekday travelling on King Edward and this number is expected to increase by 1% to 2% annually; and
WHEREAS the need for a long-term strategy has resulted in comments for the TMP to recommend a comprehensive truck route study with a focus to reduce heavy truck traffic through the downtown area and specifically on Waller Street, Rideau Street and King Edward Avenue; and
WHEREAS Table 1 lists edits to the TMP that specifically addresses this issue in more detail as proposed by the Lowertown Community Association, Action Sandy Hill, the Downtown Rideau BIA, University of Ottawa and others; and
WHEREAS past interprovincial transportation studies discounted a tunnel solution from the 417 to the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge for technical and operational reasons; and
WHEREAS the Mayor and Ward Councillor have had preliminary discussions with the Province to explore opportunities to revisit the technical feasibility of a tunnel from the 417 to the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that City Council make a formal request to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario with respect to the potential for cost-sharing of the feasibility assessment for a tunnel from the 417 to the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge on the understanding that the City will initiate and lead the feasibility assessment in collaboration with the Ministry.
“CARRIED” / “LOST”
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