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Preliminary Design Study

A Preliminary Design Study was undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation in 2004/2005, to assess and evaluate the list of issues noted below, in order to obtain Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) clearance for the rehabilitation of the bridges along Highway 417.

Issues identified include:
  • Structural condition and rehabilitation needs
  • Accommodation of freeway and city street traffic during rehabilitation
  • Opportunities to address other deficiencies in conjunction with the bridge rehabilitations
  • Environmental Impact

The preliminary design alternatives were assessed and a Recommended Plan was selected. A Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) was subsequently prepared to document the environmentally significant aspects of the planning, design and construction of the proposed rehabilitations of the bridges along Highway 417 within the project limits. The TESR was filed in December 2004, and received environmental clearance in July 19, 2005. A Preliminary Design Report (PDR) for "Highway 417 Bridge Rehabilitations from 0.5 km West of Maitland Avenue to 0.6 km East of Island Park Drive" was prepared and finalized in February 2005.

The main feature of the Preliminary Design Recommended Plan included the deck replacement for 10 bridges and rehabilitation of the Merivale Bridge. Rapid replacement technology would be used only for the deck replacement of the Island Park Drive bridges. Upon further consideration, MTO revised the construction approach to include utilizing the rapid replacement technology for deck replacements for the bridges at Carling westbound and eastbound, Kirkwood and Clyde Avenues, as well as the Island Park Drive bridges. Due to the revision to the construction approach for the bridges, a Preliminary Design Update Report (PDR) was prepared to document the proposed changes and mitigation measures. The PDR Update was finalized in September 2005.

Please refer to the Report section of the web site to view the "Highway 417 Bridge Rehabilitations Transportation Environmental Study Report" (December 2004) for further details regarding the Preliminary Design Study and Environmental Assessment.

Project Location

Highway 417 (Queensway) is the main east-west provincial corridor currently accommodating large volumes of commuter traffic; serving substantial tourist and commercial inter-City and intra-City traffic in the City of Ottawa. The section of Highway 417 within the project limits consist of three lanes eastbound and westbound west of Carling Avenue, and four lanes eastbound and westbound east of Carling Avenue. All of the bridges along Highway 417 consist of three lanes except for Island Park Drive bridges, which consist of four lanes.

Description of the Undertaking

There are a total of ten concrete deck / steel girder bridges located along Highway 417. These 10 bridges are referred to as the "Thin Slab Bridges", and are located at five sites within the project limits. The five sites are listed as follows:

  • Clyde Avenue
  • Carling Avenue eastbound
  • Kirkwood Avenue
  • Carling Avenue westbound
  • Island Park Drive
In addition to the Thin Slab Bridges, the Merivale Road bridges are located within the project limits, east of the Clyde Avenue, Kirkwood and Carling Avenue eastbound and westbound bridges, and west of the Island Park Drive bridges. The Merivale Road bridges are rigid frame bridges, and will be widened and rehabilitated as part of this project.

All of the ten thin slab bridge decks were constructed in 1959 and rehabilitated in 1983. However, these bridge decks continue to deteriorate from natural and man-made elements. In 2002/2003, temporary repairs to these bridges were undertaken. Subsequently, extensive testing and inspection of the bridges were carried out. Findings from these inspections and tests identified the following deficiencies and concerns with the bridges:

  • Concrete delamination on the decks, abutments and wing walls
  • Deteriorated decks
  • Corrosion and strain on the steel girders

Consequently, replacement and rehabilitation of the bridges were recommended.

For Detail Design, there are a number of components expected. The following is a list of improvements for the detail design:

  • Replacement of Highway 417 bridge decks at Island Park Drive, Carling Avenue eastbound and westbound, Kirkwood Avenue, and Clyde Avenue;
  • Rehabilitation of the Merivale Road bridges;
  • Construction of retaining walls and widening of bridge abutments;
  • Pavement rehabilitation;
  • Drainage, illumination and landscaping improvements, and
  • Traffic management in conjunction with the City of Ottawa for all bridge replacements.
Construction of retaining wall and embankments are proposed at the following locations:
  • East and west of Clyde Avenue on both sided of Highway 417;
  • East and west of the Carling Avenue eastbound bridges on the north side of Highway 417;
  • East of the Carling Avenue eastbound bridge to Kirkwood Avenue along the south side of Highway 417;
  • Between the Carling Avenue westbound bridge and the south-east ramp on the south side of Highway 417, and
  • On the north side of Highway 417 in Hampton.

This project is divided into several separate contracts. Contract No. 1 included the replacement of the Island Park Drive bridges and Contract No. 2 included the replacement of the Clyde Avenue bridges. Contract 1 was completed in August 2007 and Contract 2 was completed in August 2008. Contract 3 includes the replacement of the Carling Avenue Eastbound structure and is anticipated to be completed in the Summer of 2011. Contract 4 will include the replacement of the Carling Avenue Westbound structure and Kirkwood Avenue structure, and Contract 5 will include rehabilitation of the Merivale Road structure. To reduce construction staging impacts, rapid replacement technology will also be utilized for the replacement of all other bridge decks except for the rehabilitation of the Merivale Road bridges.

Rapid replacement technology is a construction staging technique where a new structure is being constructed in an enclosed area adjacent to the highway / structure. The existing structure will be removed, and the new structure placed using heavy lift technology. Application of this technology will significantly reduce the long-term traffic detours by utilizing one nighttime closure of Highway 417 for each bridge location.

Traffic Management Plans will be developed for construction staging, detour, lane closures and emergency response. This management plan will be documented in the DCR for each Contract. Furthermore, this project will address: mitigation measures to minimize impacts to conduct the works for this project, development of a Landscape Plan to protect existing and re-instate impacted vegetation, and mitigation measure for the use of enclosed construction staging areas.

The staging area for the Carling eastbound bridge replacement is proposed between Carling eastbound and Carling westbound, north of Highway 417. Please refer to the key map in the Project Area section of the web site, to view the location of the staging areas.

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