Roads & Paving
Roads & Bridges
Ontario Municipal Reports: eastern region
By Jay Koblun
Municipal report for the City of Ottawa
By Jay Koblun
Director of Infrastructure Services Ottawa Carina Duclos gave a municipal report on the city of Ottawa during the Ontario Road Builders’ Association’s (ORBA) 94th annual convention that was held virtually for the first time in February. The event was titled, “Forging the Roadway Ahead.”
The City of Ottawa
Duclos shared what the organization is and some of the services it provides, as well as assets owned by Ottawa, highlights regarding how the city has handled COVID-19, how they approach communication and collaboration with other organizations and more.
“Thank you for having me today to speak a little bit about what is happening in Ottawa,” she said beginning her presentation.
Ottawa has $50 billion in infrastructure assets to manage. And owns and maintains 6,000 kilometres of roads, 650 bridges, 2,700 kilometres of sidewalks, 8,500 kilometres of water mains and sewers, 6,000 culverts, 1,000 buildings/facilities, 80 kilometres of transitway, hundreds of pools, parks, and splash pads, and three treatment plants; two water treatment plants and one wastewater treatment plant.
The 2021 budget will see $570 million in new infrastructure.
State of Emergency
Ottawa has been in a state of emergency since March 2020 due to COVID-19. Construction was deemed an essential service and has continued in Ottawa throughout the pandemic.
“The City has not gone by unaffected by COVID-19. Some projects have been postponed but many were also completed early. The city and industry have worked together to comply with restrictions and recommendations provided by health officials at municipal, provincial and federal levels and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development,” said Duclos.
The City, in co-ordination with the industry, looked at opportunities to accelerate construction projects since there had been less traffic on the streets and many city facilities were closed.
“Low traffic volumes gave us the ability to provide more flexibility for construction projects,” she said. “Having fewer people in our facilities has also improved timeliness for some of our construction projects. Many projects were able to be completed ahead of schedule because of the opportunities that the city and industry were able to find because of the pandemic.”
Duclos added that some projects were affected due to material delivery, delays, or challenging working conditions.
Ottawa also developed several task forces to deal with COVID-19.
Duclos led the public construction working group as part of the economic recovery task force and said she was impressed with how the industry and teams adapted to the new circumstances. “Resiliency and collaboration were impressive,” she said. “Allowing the industry and city. Be successful despite the challenging times.
Infrastructure Services holds to the standard that to be successful, they need to interact with as many internal and external stakeholders. These stakeholder interactions are essential to deliver on both quality of the services they provide and quality of the products that they deliver.
“This team approach applies within the city and with our external partners,” said Duclos.
2021 Capital Budget Highlights
Despite the challenges surrounding COVID-19, Duclos shared some highlights from the 2021 budget.
The City plans on investing $45 million for road resurfacing, preservation, and rural road upgrades; $26 million to repair and rehabilitate bridges, bridge culverts, pedestrian overpasses, retaining walls and noise barrier; $9 million for renewal of standalone sidewalks and pathways; and $105 million for integrated road-water-sewer reconstruction projects.
- Montreal Road – $64 million investment
- Strandherd Drive Widening – $113 million investment
- Bay Street Cycling Facilities – $6.2 million investment
- Campeau Drive Extension – $32 million investment
- Prince of Wales Bridge Temporary Multi-Use Pathway – estimated $10.5 million investment
The vision of Infrastructure Services is to build a better Ottawa for all to enjoy today and into the future.