Ground breaks on Mackenzie Avenue cycling lanes

Shovels are in the ground and construction has begun on dedicated cycling lanes on Mackenzie Avenue. This new cycling and streetscaping project is the result of a collaborative effort by the City of Ottawa, National Capital Commission, the Embassy of the United States, and the Province of Ontario to improve mobility on Confederation Boulevard.

“Ottawa continues to build on its reputation as a cycling-friendly city as we expand and improve our cycling infrastructure,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Through this partnership with the NCC and the Embassy of the United States, we are connecting vital pieces of our ever-expanding cycling network to make cycling an even more attractive, viable and safe transportation option for Ottawa residents.”

The project will include partially raised, bi-directional cycling lanes on the east side of Mackenzie Avenue that will be built to the design standards of Confederation Boulevard. The existing jersey barriers in front of the Embassy of the United States will be removed and security bollards will be installed. The new cycling lanes will connect existing cycling lanes on Sussex Drive, St. Patrick Street and the Alexandra Bridge to Wellington Street/Rideau Street and the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway. Construction is slated for completion in 2017.

“The new Mackenzie Avenue cycling corridor will significantly enhance Confederation Boulevard, Canada’s premier ceremonial route, in time for Canada’s 150th birthday,” said Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission. “The NCC’s partnership with the Embassy of the United States, the City of Ottawa and the Province of Ontario demonstrates our shared commitment to continuing to build a thriving and connected Capital for all Canadians.”

“I am confident that this fantastic project to bring dedicated bike lanes to Mackenzie Avenue will be a welcome addition to downtown Ottawa,” said His Excellency Bruce Heyman, U.S. Ambassador to Canada. “Not only does this create a more visually pleasing environment, but it promotes green transportation, and it raises Ottawa’s stature as one of the most “bikeable” cities in the world.”

“I am delighted to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for these new cycling lanes. Here in Ottawa-Vanier as elsewhere, cycling has become a popular means of transportation,” said Madeleine Meilleur, MPP Ottawa-Vanier. “This project will connect existing paths along the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River and Gatineau. It will safely connect cyclists to their work or school.”

Improvements to Mackenzie Avenue also include streetscaping and resurfacing of the roadway. The overall project costs are $5.6-million. The addition of cycling lanes on Mackenzie Avenue is identified in the NCC's Strategic Plan for Canada’s Capital Pathway Network and in Phase 1 of the City of Ottawa’s 2013 Cycling Plan, both of which received extensive public input. The project is also identified in the Term of Council Priorities.

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