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Chaudière Bridge to remain closed to cars, trucks until August; Ottawa Race Weekend modifies marathon routes

WATCH: The Chaudière Bridge in Ottawa was closed to traffic on Sunday because of high water levels in the Ottawa River.

The Chaudière Bridge linking Ottawa and Hull, which closed on April 28 as the Ottawa River rose higher and higher due to snowmelt and heavy rain, will remain a no-go zone for cars and commercial trucks until August, the federal department of public services and procurement announced on Tuesday.

The interprovincial crossing — located just west of Ottawa’s downtown core near the Canadian War Museum — was already due to be closed to vehicle traffic as of June for previously announced construction work.

WATCH (April 30, 2019): Powerful video shows Ottawa River’s force near Chaudière Falls generating facilities
Powerful video shows Ottawa River’s force near Chaudière Falls generating facilities
Powerful video shows Ottawa River’s force near Chaudière Falls generating facilities

In a statement, the federal government said it’s keeping the bridge closed to all commuters until the swollen river’s levels recede. The bridge will reopen to public transit buses, pedestrians and cyclists once it has been inspected and “deemed safe for use,” the statement read.

Cars and trucks won’t be allowed to use the bridge until this summer’s construction work wraps up. In the meantime, the former will continue to be rerouted to the Portage Bridge directly to the east and the latter to the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, the department said.

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Starting in September, there will be “occasional” short-term lane closures on the Chaudière Bridge, mostly during off-peak hours, according to the department’s website.

Ottawa Race Weekend organizers modify marathon routes

The earlier-than-anticipated closure of the crossing has forced organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend to modify the routes for their half and full marathons scheduled on May 26.

Typically, participants in those two marathon races run down the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway and across the Chaudière Bridge into downtown Gatineau.

Organizers on Tuesday announced that they will have those runners take the Portage Bridge this year instead.

Once in Gatineau, the route will have runners turn west on rue Laurier and reconnect to the normal course at Booth and Laurier.

WATCH (April 28, 2019): All spans of Chaudière Falls Ring Dam opened for 2nd time in its history
All spans of Chaudière Falls Ring Dam opened for 2nd time in its history
All spans of Chaudière Falls Ring Dam opened for 2nd time in its history

Organizers are also implementing the following shortcuts to make up for the route extension from Booth Street to the Portage Bridge.

  • Marathon: shortcut in Westboro from Athlone Street to McRae Street
  • Half marathon: shortcut in Westboro from Island Park Drive to Carleton Street

“We are grateful to all our partners in Ottawa and Gatineau for accommodating this change. We know this has been a trying time for our municipal and federal partners,” Ottawa Race Weekend director John Halvorsen said in a statement.

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“Fortunately, the impact on runners will be minimal, and we hope that the runners will enjoy the change in scenery.”

Updated course maps are available on the event’s website.

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