Government of Canada invests in active transportation link between Ottawa and Gatineau
Ottawa, Ontario, July 26, 2021— The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for Canadians to have access to more outdoor spaces and enjoy nature. Building networks of pathways and trails for cycling, walking, hybrid e-bikes and scooters, and wheelchairs gives everyone the opportunity to get out and get active. By investing in more pathways and linking them to public transit, the Government is helping to improve commutes for residents, get more cars off the road, create jobs and reduce emissions as we chart a path to net zero in 2050.
Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, and Member of Parliament for Hull —Aylmer; His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa; and His Worship Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of the City of Gatineau, announced joint funding for a new pathway for pedestrians and cyclists on the Chief William Commanda Bridge, connecting Ottawa and Gatineau. William Commanda served as Band Chief of the Kitigàn-zìbì Anishinàbeg First Nation from 1951 to 1970 and was an Algonquin elder, spiritual leader, and promoter of environmental stewardship.
The Government of Canada is investing over $8.6 million in this project through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream (PTIS) of the Investing in Canada plan. The City of Ottawa is contributing approximately $13.9 million towards the pathway and the structural integrity of the bridge and its piers.
The project involves the construction of a new timber deck on top of the existing rail track ties, creating a pathway on the south structure of the bridge, which spans from the Ottawa shore to Lemieux Island, as well as on the north structure, which spans from Lemieux Island to the Gatineau shore. A steel cable railing system and lighting will be installed, and the bridge’s major structural components will be rehabilitated to ensure safety and accessibility for all users.
Additional work will include the construction of three new multi-use path segments linking the south approach of the bridge to the City of Ottawa’s Trillium Pathway, linking the north and south bridge structures across Lemieux Island, and linking the north approach to the NCC Voyageurs’ Pathway in Gatineau. New lighting with high efficiency LED light sources will be installed along the pathway, as well as approximately 12 new benches which will serve as rest areas.
Once completed, the bridge will serve as a vital active transportation corridor linking residents of Ottawa and Gatineau to a network of pathways and public transit on both sides of the Ottawa river, providing them with more commuting options that reduce emissions and protect the environment.
Investing in active transportation builds strong communities across the country, creates good jobs towards the government’s commitment of one million jobs, and delivers a better quality of life for all Canadians. Together, we are building a cleaner, inclusive, and resilient country for generations to come.
“Transforming the Chief William Commanda bridge into an active transportation crossing will not only link the communities of Ottawa and Gatineau including to Lebreton Flats, it will reduce commute times and provide exciting new opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians who live work and play on both sides of the Ottawa River. The federal investment of over $8.6 million will also help create jobs, take cars off the road and reduce emissions. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre
“The new multi-use pathway on the Chief William Commanda Bridge will provide residents of the Outaouais and Ottawa a new way to cross the river safely. We're converting an abandoned rail bridge into a major green link between the two provinces and improving the active transportation networks in our region. Another great example of how we are working with our partners to build stronger, more resilient infrastructure that serves our National Capital Region well into the future.”
Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government, and Member of Parliament for Hull —Aylmer
“Transforming this decommissioned bridge into an active transportation corridor for pedestrians, cyclists and cross-country skiers will link an extensive network of pathways on both sides of the Ottawa River and connect communities in Gatineau and Ottawa. This funding partnership brings many benefits to the environment and communities with improved commuting options and better access to public transit.”
His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa
“Today, we are not only adding an active transportation link between our two cities, we are once again confirming our commitment to providing a healthy environment for our citizens. We share with Minister Catherine McKenna and Mayor Jim Watson the goal of making our two cities greener by increasing active transportation and public transit trips. The environment is once again at the heart of our priorities through this investment.”
His Worship Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of the City of Gatineau
Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
$28.7 billion of this funding is supporting public transit projects.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $130 million in 126 active transportation projects through the Investing in Canada plan. In addition, hundreds more infrastructure projects funded by the Government of Canada have included components that promote active transportation.
Across Ontario, the Government of Canada has invested more than $14.2 billion in over 3,800 infrastructure projects.
As part of the Strengthened Climate Plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government Canada announced its intention to develop Canada’s first Active Transportation Strategy and explore options to deliver more walking trails, cycling paths and other forms of active mobility. A framework has been developed to support stakeholder engagement on the development of a strategy.
In March, 2021 the Government also announced the creation of Canada’s first-ever, $400 million Active Transportation Fund.
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
City of Ottawa Media Relations
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