Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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1960 Scott St Construction Update - Scott St sidewalk closure

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Construction is well underway at 1960 Scott St (the Trailhead site), and it continues to have impacts in the neighbourhood. This post highlights a further sidewalk closure that, this time, will affect some cyclists as well, beginning in early August.

In the early stages of construction, a portion of the sidewalk along McRae had to be closed for the duration of the project. I was successful in engaging with City of Ottawa staff as well as Colonnade Bridgeport to ensure a crosswalk was installed along McRae to make pedestrian crossing much safer. That crosswalk will be preserved at the end of the construction.

Recently, I learned that Colonnade Bridgeport has also received permission from the city to close a portion of the Scott St sidewalk adjacent to their site, extending the width of the painted on-street bike lane. The closure will persist for 18 months.

The closure will require pedestrians (and cyclists who currently rely on the painted cycling lane) to use the north MUP to traverse this section, crossing between north and south at the lights at Lanark and Tweedsmuir. Cyclists can, of course, continue to use Scott straight through, but without the benefit of the painted lane. I have been challenging the builder to develop an alternative plan and have met with various city departments. As it stands today, we are unable to find another option that would allow them to safely complete their work while also being safe for pedestrians, without closing a portion of the sidewalk.

The sidewalk closure is required to facilitate the lifting of heavy equipment. The lifting has to be done along Scott St due to the overhead hydro lines on McRae. The crane, once up, will not be able to swing over or under the Hydro lines to carry materials. Further, lifting can’t be done close to or above the public, so the lifting area must be physically separated from the public. The lifting area along Scott St will be separated from the vehicle traffic by using concrete barriers. Loads such as long reinforcing steel bars are tricky and can sometimes move sideways when lifted, so additional care and space has to be provided to eliminate risks. Installing a covered walkway would not provide adequate protection for pedestrians from the loads that will be lifted.

Attached below, you’ll see the recommended pedestrian and alternative cycling route during the two closures. If you are on the south side of Scott St heading west from downtown, you’ll have to cross at the lights at Lanark. If you are heading east from Westboro, you can utilize the lights at Tweedsmuir. Cyclists can either continue on Scott St without the benefit of the painted lane, or detour to the path on the north side crossing at the same lights.

Posted July 11, 2018