Feds plan $32M retrofit of Alexandra Bridge

Alexandra Bridge

The federal government is looking to hire contractors to retrofit the Alexandra Bridge, the historic interprovincial steel truss structure connecting the National Art Gallery with the Canadian Museum of History.

The $32-million project includes replacing the steel grating and rehabilitating the deck floor system, as well as various other steel repairs, according to procurement documents. This project is a continuation of the steel repair work being done to maintain the bridge, which is one of five interprovincial bridges in the Ottawa area.

The bridge was originally constructed between 1898 and 1900 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and is a National Historic Civil Engineering Site. Upgraded for vehicles and pedestrians in the late 1950s, the bridge currently sees around 9,000 vehicle crossings per day, as well as around 40 per cent of all cyclists and pedestrians who cross the Ottawa River, according to 2017 data from Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Due to the bridge’s significance, any proposed rehabilitation must reflect its historical nature, according to the project brief.

The most recent rehabilitation of the bridge took place in 2016-17, with a $4.92 million project awarded to Stellaire Construction Inc. to repair the steel components surrounding two of the piers.

A more substantial project took place in 2009-10 with the replacement of the centre lane deck, guardrails and wooden boardwalk as well as general strengthening work. More steel strengthening and grate replacement took place on the Gatineau side in 2013-14.

According to recent assessment reports, many steel components of the bridge are in need of repair, including the steel grating beneath the boardwalk.

Gatineau’s recently proposed $2.1-billion light-rail plan would include a crossing at the Alexandra Bridge.