Alexandra Bridge: Replacement project

The Alexandra Bridge connects the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The bridge is over 120 years old and is nearing the end of its lifecycle. Learn about our project to replace this important bridge.

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Project overview

Location
Gatineau, Quebec, and Ottawa, Ontario
Locate the Alexandra Bridge on a map
Type of project
Replacement
Lead department
Public Services and Procurement Canada
Project status
Planning and design phase
Next steps
Procurement and implementation phase

Project description

The existing Alexandra Bridge is nearing the end of its lifespan. Time, exposure to natural elements and salt, as well as continued usage, have taken their toll. Over the last few years, the state of the bridge has continued to deteriorate. This has and will continue to result in more frequent closures to perform the necessary repair work to keep it in service. The new design of the bridge will help to avoid corrosion-prone details and structures.

The Alexandra Bridge replacement will provide long-lasting benefits to the communities on each side of the Ottawa River. The region as a whole will benefit by creating a reliable and sustainable interprovincial transportation connection that will:

The new bridge is expected to include 2 lanes for vehicle traffic and 1 lane for 2-way active mobility (pedestrians, cyclists and users of mobility devices). It’s also expected to be wider than the current bridge, with clear separation of pedestrians and cyclists. And finally, it should include seating to provide safe and unobstructed rest points and viewing locations.

We’re working with partners and stakeholders to develop a plan that ensures impacts, such as economic, heritage and environmental, are studied and mitigated. Partners and stakeholders include the following:

The new bridge design will pay careful attention to the history and unique setting of the existing Alexandra Bridge. We’re collaborating with heritage specialists and other stakeholders to preserve and commerate the legacy of the bridge.

Process and timelines

The Alexandra Bridge replacement project will take place in 3 stages. Deconstruction work is scheduled to begin in 2028, and we expect the bridge to be operational in 2032.

Stage 1: Pre-planning (2019 to 2021)

This phase started in 2019 when the government mandated Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to replace the Alexandra Bridge. In this stage, we:

Stage 2: Planning and design (2022 to 2025)

We’re now in the planning and design phase. The Independent Review Panel will review technical information and concept designs, to provide expert advice, and to formulate an informed recommendation on the preferred concept design.

In this stage, we:

In the coming years, we will continue to:

Stage 3: Procurement and construction (2025 to 2032)

This will be the final stage before the bridge is built. This stage is expected to last until 2032, but the exact date will depend on the design and how complex it is to build. In this stage, we will:

We’ll continue to assess and consider potential impacts of the project as the new bridge is designed and built, and the existing bridge is removed.

Engaging the public, partners and stakeholders

Public consultations are an important part of the project. We’ll continue to consult with the public, partners and stakeholders throughout the process to ensure the new bridge reflects Canadian values and identity. We’re working with the NCC to ensure that Indigenous communities can contribute their insights, knowledge and perspectives, and can share concerns and issues in a constructive and collaborative way.

The NCC has formed a Public Advisory Group (PAG) to communicate with the PSPC-NCC project team and the broader community for the duration of the Alexandra Bridge replacement project. The PAG’s role within the consultation process is important. It is tasked with ensuring that a wide range of perspectives, community interests, and stakeholder needs are not only represented but also given due consideration at every stage of the project’s lifecycle. The PAG is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, expertise and a shared interest for the project.

We continue to work with the NCC to ensure members of the public, stakeholders and Indigenous partners have the opportunity to provide feedback throughout the project. The NCC is planning a minimum of 5 rounds of public consultations, some of which are already completed. The consultations are in addition to the many studies and reports already completed. The results will help inform the team on various aspects of the projects. The next round of public consultations is currently expected to start in spring-summer 2024.

Photo gallery

Side view of the Alexandra Bridge, showing its steel structure and lighting.
Pedestrians and cyclists using the Alexandra Bridge boardwalk. We can see the condition of the wood deck, which is being repaired as part of the boardwalk and articulation repair project.
A side view of the Alexandra Bridge from the water level. We can see the effect of corrosion on the pillars and structure.
An aerial picture of the Alexandra Bridge connecting the cities of Gatineau, Quebec, and Ottawa, Ontario.

Video: Alexandra Bridge replacement project

A look at the condition of the Alexandra Bridge and the status of its replacement project. This video was released in 2022.

Alexandra Bridge replacement project—Transcript

Start of video

[Music plays]

(Text on screen: Public Services and Procurement Canada)

[Drone shot of Alexandra Bridge with Ottawa and Gatineau in view]

In the National Capital Region, Public Services and Procurement Canada is responsible for three interprovincial bridges:

[Map of Ottawa, Gatineau and the Ottawa River]

(Text on screen: Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, Alexandra Bridge, Chaudière Crossing)

The Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, the Alexandra Bridge, and the Chaudière Crossing.

[Shot of a bearded man in a blue shirt on a grey background]

(Text on screen: Paul Lebrun, Chief Engineer, National Capital Region Bridges, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

My role, first and foremost, is to ensure that our bridges are safe for users. This is done through regular inspections and maintenance.

[Shot of the underside of the Alexandra Bridge]

[Photo of a construction worker on top of the bridge]

[Drone shot of cars driving across the Alexandra Bridge]

[Worker welding steel grating]

[Worker welding and several trucks on the Alexandra Bridge]

[Worker using a grinder on the steel grating of the bridge]

We have a team of 10 professionals who manage the day to day operations of the three bridges. We conduct regular inspections, and plan the maintenance and repair projects needed to keep these bridges safe.

[Timelapse of the Alexandra Bridge with traffic driving across]

(Text on screen: State of the Alexandra Bridge)

[Cyclist bikes past a sign that says “1900 Interprovincial Bridge”]

[Shot of the Alexandra Bridge with a boat next to it]

[Drone shot of the Alexandra Bridge with traffic driving across and green trees on the shore]

[Photo of the underside of the Alexandra Bridge with scaffolding at workers examining the bridge]

[Photo of the underside of the Alexandra Bridge and rusty metal beams]

[Photo of extremely rusted metal]

At more than 120 years old, the Alexandra Bridge is the oldest of the three interprovincial bridges that PSPC manages. In spite of regular maintenance it is nearing the end of its lifecycle and needs to be replaced.

[Animated blueprint of the Alexandra Bridge]

[Shot of a worker with a wielding mask working on steel grating]

To ensure the bridge remains safe, a monitoring system was recently installed that provides real-time data on the state of the bridge, allowing any issues to quickly be identified and addressed.

[Shot of a bearded man in a blue shirt on a grey background]

[Photo of the Alexandra Bridge and the Canadian Museum of History]

(Text on screen: 2009-2010, Replaced center deck, Steel repairs, Seismic retrofit; 2013-2014, Structural steel repairs, Coating of the Hull Trestle; 2016-2017, Structural steel replacement; 2019-2021, Structural steel replacement)

We have completed several rehabilitation projects to make sure that the bridge remains safe for users until it can be replaced.

Despite all of this work, detailed inspections tell us that the bridge continues to deteriorate, mainly due to corrosion.

[Signs indicating the Alexandra Bridge is closed with the bridge in the background]

(Text on screen: Alexandra Bridge Closed)

[Worker using a grinder on steel grating]

[Panning shot of the Alexandra Bridge with a worker welding]

PSPC will continue to conduct regular inspections, perform repairs and monitor critical components of the bridge, until it can be replaced.

[Drone shot of the Alexandra Bridge]

(Text on screen: The Alexandra Bridge Replacement Project)

[Shot of a woman dressed in black in front of a black background]

(Text on screen: Keri-Lee Doré, Senior Project Director, Alexandra Bridge Replacement Project, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

The Alexandra Bridge Replacement Project will provide long-lasting benefits to the communities on both sides of the Ottawa River and to the National Capital Region as a whole.

[Drone shot of the Alexandra Bridge with a boat next to it]

[Aerial photo of the Alexandra Bridge with the Ottawa and Gatineau sides]

[Shot of the pedestrian side of the Alexandra Bridge with people jogging]

It will create a sustainable and dependable interprovincial transportation connection that will improve vehicle traffic and encourage use by pedestrians and cyclists.

[Shot of a woman dressed in black in front of a black background]

The new bridge design will pay careful attention to the history and unique setting of the existing Alexandra Bridge.

[Shot of the Alexandra Bridge taken from the shore]

[Drone shot of the Alexandra Bridge with Ottawa in the background]

For more information regarding the Alexandra Bridge Replacement Project and its consultations activities, visit our website.

(Text on screen: Canada.ca/alexandra-bridge)

(Text on screen: Check us out: facebook.com/PSPC.SPAC, instagram.com/pspc_spac, twitter.com/pspc_spac, youtube.com/PWGSCanada)

[Music stops]

(Public Services and Procurement Canada signature)

(Canada Wordmark)

End of video

Studies and reports

The Life Cycle Cost Analysis studied options for investing in the Alexandra Bridge over the long term. The study determined that replacing the bridge would:

Numerous reports and studies on replacing the Alexandra Bridge have been completed in recent years to assist us with evidence-based planning and decision-making.

Assessing the impact

The project is subject to the federal Impact Assessment Act. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada decided that an impact assessment was not required (Notice of Impact Assessment Decision with Reasons).

We continue to work with the NCC to undertake impact management activities and studies. We will respect the commitments made in the Detailed Project Description and fulfill our legislative and regulatory obligations under the Impact Assessment Act.

More information on the steps taken and how we’ve met the criteria of the Act is available in reports and studies on replacing the Alexandra Bridge.

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From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

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