On January 23rd, the NCC Board of Directors met to discuss recent and upcoming projects. Here are some of the highlights presented in my Report on Activities.
Major Infrastructure Projects
- A section of the former Lac des Fées pathway has been removed, which will address the fragmentation of this section of Gatineau Park by allowing the area to be renaturalized.
- The Lac Philippe Parkway has been completely rebuilt, including the sections within the campground, on budget. All that remains to be done is some topsoil replacement and seeding, to be completed this spring.
- At the National Capital River Pavilion, work is currently ongoing on the pedestrian bridge, and the abutment footing was poured in the first week of January. The demolition of exterior and interior elements is ongoing, and we expect the project to be complete in December.
- Work on replacing the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway LeBreton Bridge should be finished by July.
- Environmental mitigation surrounding related to the Britannia Pathway Wall rehabilitation,which included cutting trees located on the wall and netting the remaining vegetation, was completed in late November. Work is ongoing on new sections of the wall, and the installation of the floodgate is complete.
- Work on the Blair Road Boat Launch began in December. The in-water work is partially completed, and various pre-cast mechanical and concrete components are now being created. The project is expected to be completed before boating season.
- On Victoria Island, 300 meters of the northeast shoreline have been stabilized, and emergency work has been completed around the Portage Bridge abutment. Design is currently under way for this year’s work, which involves repairs to the shoreline under and to the west of the bridge. As part of this project, we are also working to remove some highly contaminated soil, which has filled in the 19th-century timber slide. This work was substantially completed as of Jan. 8. As well, a total of 657 buried acetylene cylinders were unearthed, with 146 still in compression. They will be neutralized this winter.
- The NCC’s Emerald Ash Borer Impact Management Program was completed on time and on-budget, with a total of 12,500 trees of varying species planted on 24 NCC sites across the Capital Region. The removal of dead ash trees in the Greenbelt should be complete in fiscal 2020-2021.
- The Rideau Hall ice rink and Winter Pavilion opened for the season on Dec. 7. As it is an artificial ice surface, we expect it to remain open to the public into March.
- The bulk of the real estate transactions associated with Phase 1 were completed in December, involving property for the sites of four LRT stations and portions of the tunnel and surface route. Most of these lands were sold to the City except for those portions located within the National Interest Land Mass boundary. In those cases, long-term easements were granted instead.
Gatineau Park Master Plan
- NCC staff are currently assembling a first draft of the Gatineau Park Master Plan, which we expect to share with the public in early spring, and present to this Board at its April meeting.
Capital Pathway Strategic Plan
- A draft of the Capital Pathway Strategic Plan has been developed with widespread input from the public, stakeholders, both municipalities, and the NCC’s advisory committee on Planning, Design, and Realty. The intention is to bring the plan forward for Board approval in April, following a final round of public consultations.
Long Term Strategic Interprovincial Transportation Plan
- The NCC has launched a Request for Proposals to retain a consultant to work on the plan’s development, and will work with both transportation and transit authorities in Ottawa and Gatineau, as well as with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and Public Services and Procurement Canada, to develop a strategy.
Responsible Trail Management
- Phase 1 of the Responsible Trail Management Program is complete, with more than 14 kilometres of new trail ready for their official opening in a few weeks. Phase 2 is well under way, which will result in the opening of another 16 kilometres of trail. Phase 3 will begin later in the spring.
Trail 50 in Gatineau Park
- A bridge that was subject to severe flooding has been replaced by a new bridge with a more resilient design, allowing safer use and greater access to this area of Gatineau Park.
- Replacement of deteriorated pavers has been completed ahead of schedule.
Memorial to the Victims of Communism
- Construction of the plinth of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism began in November 2019 and the excavation and pouring of the foundations is now complete. Work will resume in spring following the tendering for the remaining elements over the winter. Mock-ups of the Artistic Element have been reviewed, and fabrication of the Artistic Element is anticipated to take seven months, with installation set for September.