Portage Bridge Resurfacing and Widening of Cycling Track

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

portage bridge

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 50 km/h. Over 300,000 cyclists per year use the bridge’s cycling lanes, with the number of cyclists increasing by 4 percent each year.

About the project

In order to respect the budgetary envelope for this major rehabilitation project, and minimize the construction impact on traffic, we will implement the project in two stages.


  • Rehabilitation of the asphalt surface on five of the bridge’s six lanes: three southbound lanes leading to Ottawa and two northbound lanes leading to Gatineau.
  • Repairs to the drains and the bridge expansion joints.
  • Removal of concrete apron (gutters).
  • Miscellaneous waterproofing and concrete deck repairs.

The construction work, which will mostly occur at night and on weekends, will begin on Friday, September 14, and will continue until mid-November 2018.


  • Widening of the current bidirectional cycle track from 2.5 m to 2.6 m.
  • Addition of a vertical concrete and steel barrier, 27.5-cm-wide and approximately one-metre-high between the cycle track and the motor vehicle lane.
  • Rehabilitation of the asphalt surface on the bridge’s northbound high-occupancy vehicle lane (leading to Gatineau).
  • Adjustments to the pavement markings on the northbound motor vehicle lanes to accommodate the improved cycle track.

This construction work is expected to begin in spring 2019, and be completed by the end of summer 2019.

Traffic Advisory

September 13, 2018: Portage Bridge resurfacing work begins tomorrow evening, September 14

Public engagement

During the development of the project plan, we took 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 expert analysis undertaken in winter 2018.