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.
On this page
- Gatineau, Quebec, and Ottawa, Ontario
Locate the Alexandra Bridge on a map
- Type of project
- Lead department
- Public Services and Procurement Canada
- Project status
- Planning and design phase
- Next steps
- Procurement and implementation phase
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:
- improve vehicular traffic
- prioritize pedestrians and cyclists
- commemorate the heritage of the existing Alexandra Bridge
- provide a safe and accessible route for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, and sightseers
- provide generous space with well-defined and separated lanes for vehicles and active transportation
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:
- National Capital Commission (NCC)
- City of Gatineau
- City of Ottawa
- Indigenous Communities
- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
- Province of Quebec
- Province of Ontario
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:
- developed the planning and design principles
- consulted with the public (Public consultation 1a (PDF))
- shared project information
- consulted on planning and design principles
- evaluated potential impacts to the public and stakeholders
- assessed possible mitigation measures
- consulted with the public a second time (Public consultation 1b (PDF))
- shared project updates
- consulted on expected benefits
- consulted on how to mitigate potential impacts
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:
- submitted the initial project description and the detailed project description to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
- developed the Performance Criteria for Bridge Design
- awarded a $14.95-million contract to Arup Canada Inc. for the professional services of a technical advisor to assist with the design options
- launched the Public Advisory Group, which includes people from diverse backgrounds and stakeholder groups
In the coming years, we will continue to:
- develop design options
- consult with the public and stakeholders
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:
- award the design and construction contracts
- consult with the public and stakeholders
- finalize the design and construction plan
- remove the existing bridge and start building the new bridge
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.
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.
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:
- be less disruptive to the public than trying to maintain it
- be more cost-effective than to continue to maintain it
- allow us to keep the bridge in service for a longer period until its replacement
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.
- Bridges and crossings in the National Capital Region
- Alexandra Bridge
- Alexandra Bridge: Boardwalk and articulation repair project
- Lane reductions and closures on interprovincial bridges in the National Capital Region
- Directory of Federal Real Property: Alexandra Bridge
- Alexandra Bridge Replacement: National Capital Commission
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