On Nov 29th the Province of Ontario committed 375,000$ to co-fund a study proposed by the City of Ottawa on the feasibility of implementing a downtown tunnel between the 417 and the Macdonald-Cartier bridge as a possible solution to the downtown interprovincial truck problem.
It was announced at the press conference that they expected to complete this study over the next 12-15 months. Glenn Murray the provincial minister of infrastructure and transport in his address affirmed that they would not be committing to spend this kind of money unless they were serious about exploring this possibility.
The City's 2-page backgrounder document is an excellent summary of the proposed scope of the study. From the document:
There will be two parts to the study of a tunnel alternative:
Phase One: The first part of the study will assess the technical feasibility of constructing a tunnel and its portals; impacts of portals on adjacent land use, transportation facilities and buildings; ventilation requirements and impacts; potential conflicts with existing utilities and the Confederation Line; geotechnical analysis; the feasibility of using the tunnel by trucks carrying dangerous goods; other relevant tunnelling issues, and construction costs.
Phase Two: If a tunnel solution is deemed technically feasible based on the analysis completed in Phase One, the second phase will go into more depth, and look at issues such as the likely utilization of the tunnel by long-distance trucks and cars; potential community impacts; as well as the potential for repurposing surface streets.
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