Portage Bridge Resurfacing and Widening of Cycling Track

The rehabilitation of the asphalt surface of the Portage Bridge and the enhancement of its cycle track will improve safety and user comfort, and maintain the bridge service life until the need for major reconstruction in 10 to 25 years.

The Portage Bridge is a major commuter route over the Ottawa River for interprovincial travel between Ontario and Quebec (Ottawa and Gatineau). On average, the bridge carries approximately 40,000 vehicles a day, with a posted speed of 60 km/h. The bridge’s cycling lanes are used by over 300,000 cyclists per year, with the number of cyclists increasing by 4 percent each year.

About the project

This important rehabilitation project, which is expected to roll out from July to the end of September 2018, will include the following:

  • widening of the existing bidirectional cycle track from 2.5 metres to 2.6 metres;
  • addition of a 25 centimetres vertical barrier between the cycle track and the motor vehicle lanes; and
  • enhancements to the motor vehicle lanes to accommodate the improved cycle track.

These works will occur simultaneously with the Bronson Pulp Mill ruins public access project, the work to modify the pathways and stairs that lead from the Portage–Wellington intersection to Richmond Landing and from the Ottawa River Pathway to Richmond Landing, as well as the Voyageurs Pathway reconstruction.

Public engagement

During the development of the project plan, we seized the opportunity to ask the public, stakeholders and interest groups to provide feedback on proposed options to improve the bridge’s cycle track. The option chosen by the NCC’s Board of Directors in April 2018 is the preferred and recommended option for implementation, according to the results of the public consultation and the analysis that took place in winter 2018.

What’s next?

The work on the Portage Bridge will affect traffic patterns. We are now in the process of developing a traffic management strategy for those who use the Portage Bridge. To ensure safe operations for all, from beginning to end, we will proactively announce lane closures, construction schedules, work progress and all impacts, through our communications channels and social media platforms.