Weekend traffic impacted by construction on Ottawa roadways

So how bad is the summer construction season?

Well, the city’s traffic control centre is going to start staffing on weekends in order to monitor traffic volume.

This year, construction is heavier than usual thanks to work being done to accommodate light rail.

In an e-mail to the Sun, traffic management and operational support manager Phil Landry wrote that the city has traditionally not maintained an official record of its 10 busiest streets on the weekends, however, congestion “depends primarily on the time of year.”

It seems this is the right time of year for heavy traffic on the weekends. Take a ride down Hunt Club Rd. at 2 p.m. on a Saturday and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a Wednesday.

Merivale Rd. also experiences bumper-to-bumper traffic in the afternoon and those are just a few of the streets experiencing heavier-than-usual traffic volumes.

Residents have also noticed.

“Carling, I guess they’re still doing some repaving. I try to avoid that. Merivale, on a good day you try to avoid,” said west-end resident John Carbonette, adding the same goes for the Queensway.

Olivier Zurcher lives in the southeast end and even though he has a car, “it’s much easier” to take the bus.

“Weekends, it’s better here but I try to stay away from the downtown area ‘cause it’s just a pain in the a–,” added Zurcher.

Landry also noted that Wellington St., “in particular the stretch in front of the Parliament buildings and leading into the Byward Market, can be exceptionally busy during the spring, summer and fall tourist season.”

Ten popular shopping strips and tourist destinations have been identified as some of the busiest:

Merivale Rd.
Bank St.
Innes Rd.
Wellington St.
Richmond Rd.
Terry Fox Rd.
Rideau St.
Sussex Dr.
Dalhousie St.
Carling Ave.
During the week, crossing the river into Ottawa is cumbersome for Tais McNeill from Chelsea, who has been making it a point to avoid the Booth St. bridge.

“They’ve been cutting off a whole lane of that,” said McNeill.

“That was my usual route and it’s an extra 15, 20 minutes on bad days, so I’ve had to change and go to the Champlain bridge and take a whole different route up.”

The ordeal is “a little frustrating. I mean, they only have, like, three months of the year that they can do construction, I suppose, so I understand. It’s not ideal, certainly,” McNeill said.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche



Overnight lane closures are in effect on eastbound 417 between Nicholas Ave. and the 417/174 split.

Westbound 417 will be completely closed for short periods between the 417/174 split and St. Laurent Blvd. exit in the early morning while an overhead sign is removed.
Closures will last up to 15 minutes between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.
There will be a series of lane closures in the area between midnight and 5 a.m. to prepare for the full closures.
Week of June 24:

Overnight lane closures on westbound Hwy. 417 between the Vanier Pkwy. and St. Laurent Blvd. will be in effect.

Eastbound Lees Ave. on-ramp closed until spring 2018
Eastbound Nicholas on-ramp reduced to one lane until fall 2015.
Eastbound Vanier Pkwy/Riverside Dr. down to one lane until summer 2015.

Eastbound off-ramp to St. Laurent Blvd. will be reduced to a single lane until fall 2015.

On-ramp at St. Laurent from the south to the east will be closed permanently.
July 2:

Lane reductions in both directions between Nicholas Ave. and the 417/174 split until summer 2014. During rush hour, all three lanes will be maintained in both directions with some short-term exceptions.


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