September 14, 2018 1:34 pm
Updated: September 14, 2018 1:52 pm

Two-month-long Portage Bridge repairs beginning Friday to affect vehicle lanes

Phase two of the Portage Bridge restoration begins this Saturday morning, Mar. 30, at 6 a.m., the National Capital Commission says. The construction work will affect the northbound lanes of the interprovincial bridge.

National Capital Commission (NCC)

On Friday evening, the National Capital Commission is kicking off the first phase of its $9.2-million restoration of the interprovincial Portage Bridge, starting with repairs underneath the road pavement and asphalt resurfacing that will regularly affect the number of open vehicle lanes over the next two months.

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Until mid-November, the overpass west of Parliament Hill will be undergoing construction Monday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., and 24 hours a day on weekends, the federal agency said in a media advisory.

The normally six-lane bridge connecting Ottawa and Gatineau will be reduced to one lane in each direction during construction hours.

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The two-way cycle track will remain open to cyclists at all times but pedestrians may be detoured to the east sidewalk.

NCC is urging road users and pedestrians to “exercise caution, respect work crews and equipment, and obey signage and flag persons on-site” for the duration of the work.

The NCC board of directors approved plans for extensive asphalt repairs and cycle track improvements to the Portage Bridge back in April.

The commission had aimed to begin the work earlier this summer but the process of tendering bids took longer than expected, an NCC spokesperson said on Friday.

Work being completed in two phases

The construction work beginning Friday is the first of two planned phases, which the NCC says will maintain the bridge’s service life “until the need for major reconstruction in 10 to 25 years.”

Before the snow falls, the plan is to shave the asphalt surface on five of the six lanes and fix up the bridge’s drains, expansion joints and concrete deck before repaving. “Miscellaneous waterproofing” is also on the to-do list.

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Improvements to the Portage Bridge cycle track are the focus of phase two, scheduled to begin in spring 2019.

The NCC says it will widen the current bike track and add a concrete and steel barrier to separate the cycling lanes from the vehicle lanes.

The bridge’s northbound high-occupancy vehicle lane will also undergo some asphalt resurfacing.

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The NCC hopes to wrap up this second stage of construction by the end of next summer.

The Portage Bridge is one of two interprovincial bridges the commission is responsible for maintaining. The second is the Champlain Bridge, located further west from downtown and accessible via the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway and Island Park Drive.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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