Published on June 23, 2021
New planning and design principles build on the bridge’s legacy, highlight the need to preserve views, and prioritize public transit and active transportation
With input from several thousand participants in the first phase of public consultation and stakeholder sessions, the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) Board of Directors today approved the planning and design principles for the replacement of the Alexandra Bridge.
Developed in collaboration with the project lead, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the principles provide guidance in the areas of planning, heritage protection, urban design and sustainability. They will enable a future designer to develop an iconic proposal reflective of the bridge’s location and significance, while implementing innovative practices to meet key goals such as low environmental impact.
Six principles will help guide design choices, without prescribing solutions, in the following areas:
- mobility and continuity of the urban fabric
- public space and civic experiences
- structure, height, proportions and lighting
- preservation of views and celebration of the bridge’s legacy
- sustainability and materiality
- universal accessibility, legibility and wayfinding
Several more phases of public consultation are planned for key stages of the planning and design process.
The project presents a unique opportunity to reimagine this vital connection between Ottawa and Gatineau, which offers one of the most breathtaking views of Parliament Hill and national symbols. Located in the heart of the Capital on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe, the Alexandra Bridge occupies a space rich in symbolism and history.
Process and Timelines
The replacement of the Alexandra Bridge will take place in three phases.
- Phase 1: Project pre-planning stage (2020–2021)
- Development of vision, including planning and design principles
- First public consultation: vision, along with planning and design principles, including potential impacts and mitigation (completed)
- Phase 2: Project delivery stage (2021–2025)
- Development of design options
- Second public consultation: conceptual design options and evaluation
- Third public consultation: functional and preliminary design of the preferred concept
- Fourth public consultation: detailed design for construction tendering
- Phase 3: Procurement and implementation (2025–2032)
- Fifth public consultation: final design and construction plan
The entire design and construction process will span an approximately 10-year period. Site work is scheduled to begin in 2028, and construction of the new bridge is expected to be completed by 2032.
About the Alexandra Bridge
- The Alexandra Bridge spans the Ottawa River from Nepean Point, west of Ottawa’s ByWard Market, to the Canadian Museum of History in the Hull district of Gatineau.
- Its usage represents approximately 9 percent of the average daily interprovincial vehicle traffic, and about 33 percent of all pedestrian and cyclist crossings.
- At 120 years old, the current bridge has reached the end of its life cycle. In 2019, following a recommendation by PSPC, the Government of Canada directed that the bridge be replaced within 10 years. PSPC has released an executive summary of a life cycle cost analysis and replacement study for the Alexandra Bridge detailing this recommendation.
About the Long-Term Interprovincial Integrated Crossings Plan
The Alexandra Bridge replacement project is part of a broader effort to improve interprovincial transportation in the National Capital Region. As directed by the 2019 federal budget, the NCC is currently developing a Long-Term Integrated Interprovincial Crossings Plan, which will provide a strategic framework, from now to 2050, to best manage the congestion of traffic crossing the Ottawa River.
- NCC bridges and roads projects
- PSPC Alexandra bridge replacement project
- Alexandra Bridge planning and design principles
- Public consultation report
NCC Media Relations