$226M Queensway widening project begins

A major roadwork project intended to alleviate congestion for east-end commuters officially got underway Friday with a ceremonial groundbreaking to widen the Split between Highway 417 and Regional Road 174.

The $226 million project includes $206 million from the provincial government and a $20 million commitment from the City of Ottawa.

Rideau Transit Group Ontario – the consortium led by Toronto-based ACS Infrastructure that won the contract to construct Ottawa’s $2.1 billion light-rail line – will carry out construction of the project, which is projected to create more than 2,000 jobs, according to the province.

Construction crews have started widening Highway 417 from Nicholas Street to the Split, which will include adding an additional lane in each direction as well as replacing bridges at Lees Avenue, Vanier Parkway and Belfast Road.

The extra lane will be used for buses over the next few years while the Transitway is converted to rail.

The improvements will also include construction of a new pedestrian overpass to connect the Ottawa train station with the Ottawa Stadium and the Overbrook community.

“This project will provide countless benefits to residents, especially east end commuters,” stated Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in a press release.

“By starting this work in conjunction with Confederation Line construction, we are making a smart investment in infrastructure renewal and increasing road capacity and mobility when we need it the most.”

Lane reductions are slated to begin on May 22, with construction to be completed by summer 2015.