About the Study
What is the Interprovincial Crossings Environmental Assessment (EA) Study about?
The current phase of the Study, Phase 2B, is building on the findings of the previous phases and studies that have confirmed the need for additional interprovincial transportation capacity, combined with a concerted effort to optimize transit modal share and demand management measures.
The first phase evaluated ten crossing corridors in the east and west sectors of the National Capital Region (NCR). The Study Partners chose to carry forward the three highest ranked corridors, all located in the east sector, for further evaluation. Phase 2B will recommend the preferred corridor based on the evaluation of the environmental, social, economic, heritage and planning impacts in accordance with Federal guidelines.
Who is conducting the Study?
While the Study is managed by the National Capital Commission (NCC), the three funding partners include the NCC, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) and the Ministère des transports du Québec (MTQ). Technical support and resources are provided by the City of Ottawa and Ville de Gatineau.
Who will ultimately make the decision on the location of the crossing?
The decision rests with the NCC and the federal regulators (Responsible Authorities), with input from the Study Team (NCC, MTO, MTQ, City of Ottawa and the Ville de Gatineau). The decision at the end of Phase 1 to carry three corridors into the subsequent phase was made by the NCC Board, MTO and MTQ, with input from the City Councils. A similar process will be carried out for this phase (Phase 2) of the Study.
What are the needs and justifications for a new crossing?
From Section 2.0 of the Phase 1 Summary Report, available in its entirety on the Resources page, the need for improved interprovincial transportation is supported and justified by the following key factors:
Quality of Life: The lack of adequate crossing capacity will affect the overall quality of life for people residing along existing interprovincial corridors in Ottawa and Gatineau. Considerable additional time will be spent travelling on congested roadways.
Auto Emissions: The lack of adequate capacity will increase auto emissions because of increasing traffic congestion. This approach runs contrary to environmental objectives established by the municipal, provincial, and federal governments.
Delays to Persons: People travelling across the interprovincial screenline will experience considerable delays. This equates to an economic loss for Ottawa and Gatineau.
Delays to Movement of Goods: Goods travelling across the interprovincial screenline will be subjected to considerable delays. This item is likely more critical than delays to persons, because of the lack of discretionary travel opportunities – vehicles moving goods in this area may not have flexibility with travel routes and times. This also means an economic loss for Ottawa and Gatineau commercial operators.
Delays to Street-Level Transit: All surface transit routes along these interprovincial corridors will be subjected to delays. Additional costs may be incurred to further develop “Bus Only” lanes or other transit priority measures, beyond those identified in the City of Ottawa Transportation Master Plan (TMP), to address delays generated by on-street congestion.
Fuel Consumption: The consumption of fossil fuel will increase because of ongoing congestion on the roadways.
Tourism and Safety Impacts: The removal of some or all of the heavy vehicle traffic in Ottawa’s central business district would greatly enhance the overall attractiveness and safety of roadways – a move supported by the City of Ottawa and the NCC.
Hazardous Goods: The movement of hazardous goods through the central business district is particularly problematic because many people shop and work in this area. In addition, the circuitousness of the truck route, the number of vehicle/pedestrian conflict locations and the poor roadway geometry are also concerns related to the movement of hazardous goods through the central business district.
King Edward Impacts: The reduction of heavy vehicle movements in Ottawa’s central business district would reduce noise and vibration, enhance the safety and attractiveness of walking and cycling, improve the street-level activities and improve the quality of life of local residents.
Economic Development in the NCR: Development in the NCR may be affected by the lack of adequate transportation facilities.
Resolution of these issues requires additional interprovincial crossing capacity. The status quo is not considered a reasonable alternative.
What is the current status of the Study?
Phase 1 of the Study was completed in January of 2009. Phase 1 assessed the needs and justification for a future crossing of the Ottawa River between the City of Ottawa and the Ville de Gatineau, and concluded that an interprovincial crossing is required. Phase 1 evaluated alternative options and recommended the location and alignment of a future interprovincial crossing and associated roadworks on both sides of the river. At the end of Phase 1, three corridors were brought forward to be further studied in Phase 2.
Phase 2 of the Study started in Fall 2009 and was divided into two components. Phase 2A is now complete, and resulted in the following reports available on the Resources page:
- The Study Design Report, which outlines the process and methodology that will be used in this final phase of the Environmental Assessment, Phase 2B, to select an interprovincial bridge crossing in the Region’s east end;
- The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) Scoping document, which provides details on the scope of the Phase 2B Study; and
- The Consultation Summary Report, which details how public consultation during Phase 2A helped inform and shape the two reports.
Phase 2B was initiated in Spring 2011 with the first of four rounds of public consultations held in June 2011.
The Round 1 Public Consultation Report is available online.
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When was Phase 1 completed?
Phase 1 was completed in January 2009. All related documents can be found here.
How did you screen corridors in Phase 1?
After a preliminary screening of opportunities along 85 km of the Ottawa River between the Quyon and Cumberland ferries locations, ten corridors within the urban area were assessed on their ability to connect to the freeway/highway system in the NCR. Corridors which could not connect to such facilities and were considered to have significant adverse community and environmental impacts were screened at the outset. A second stage screening evaluated the corridors retained from the initial screening in more detail, including a cost/benefit analysis and considered all environmental, social, economic, and transportation effects.
How is Phase 2 managed?
The NCC led Phase 1 work and will continue to manage the Study, following a coordinated approach, on behalf of the three funding partners (NCC, MTO and MTQ), the City of Ottawa and the Ville de Gatineau.
What is the difference between Phases 1 and 2?
Phase 1 of the Study assessed the needs and justification for a future crossing of the Ottawa River between the City of Ottawa and the Ville de Gatineau. The Study developed, evaluated and ranked alternative options. This has led to a short list of recommended locations and alignments for the study of future interprovincial crossings and associated roadway connections.
Phase 2 of the Study will include more detailed development and refinement of the three bridge corridors identified as the highest ranked in Phase 1. The final deliverables will be an Environmental Assessment Report, which includes a preliminary design of the Technically Recommended Corridor, and a Screening Report. For more information on the progress of this Study, visit the Background page.
All work completed to date for the Study can be found on the Resources page.
Why have some of the Corridor boundaries changed from Phase 1 to Phase 2?
In Phase 1, only general locations for corridors were identified under a wide band opportunity. One of Phase 2A’s mandates was to establish a specific Site Study Area for each corridor to be evaluated in Phase 2B. The Site Study Area is defined as the potential project footprint; the area where new construction may take place, as well as areas or structures that may be modified, decommissioned or abandoned. The Site Study Area may not include all of the area required for mitigation measures.
Several factors were taken into account during Phase 2A in defining the study areas for each corridor, including the ecological, technical and social considerations, professional judgement and comments received from the public relating to the Study Area such as the suggestion of the “Canotek Option”. Within the potential boundaries of physical infrastructure (i.e. the Site Study Area), alternatives such as various horizontal alignments, vertical profiles and cross-sections will be considered in the technical work of Phase 2B.
- Kettle Island (Corridor 5)
- Lower Duck Island (Corridor 6)
- Gatineau Airport/McLaurin Bay (Corridor 7).
These corridors were the three highest ranked corridors at Phase 1 of the Study, and the Study Partners decided to carry them forward for further examination. There will be no other corridors examined in Phase 2B.
The defined “Site Study Areas” for each of the three corridors are the foreseen project physical footprint, the area where new construction would take place. The established Site Study Areas will not be modified, however, if required, mitigation measures may extend beyond the Site Study Area of a corridor and would become components of the Project in that particular corridor.
During Phase 2B, within the Site Study Areas of these three corridors, alternative alignments, profiles, cross-sections and intersection/interchange designs will be considered to find the best possible solution for each corridor within the objectives of the Study.
Is it economical or useful to study the corridors of Lower Duck Island (Corridor 6) and Gatineau Airport / McLaurin Bay (Corridor 7) through Phase 2 of the Study?
Yes, the undertaking of an environmental assessment of the three project corridors, including a comparative analysis and identification of effects and measures to minimize and/or mitigate the environmental effects, will provide decision makers with the information they require to make the best informed decision.
When will the options be reduced from 3 to 1?
Following the methodology described in the Study Design Report, the 3 corridors will be evaluated to determine the Technically Recommended Corridor. This result will be presented to the public as part of the Round 3 Public Consultation activities scheduled for Fall 2012. For further information, refer toHow are the Phase 2B Public Consultation activities being organized?
What did Phase 2A entail?
Phase 2A was launched in October 2009 with a mandate to consult with communities, stakeholders and members of the public to obtain their input into the development of the Study Design (methodology for selecting a final location and assessing related impacts and mitigation measures) that will be used during the current Phase 2B.
To access all final reports for Phase 2A, please visit the Resources page.
What is the work planned for Phase 2B of the Study?
The mandate of Phase 2B is to undertake the remaining EA services required to satisfy the legislative requirements for an EA Study. The Phase 2B work, scoped in Phase 2A, includes the following:
- EA Study: in accordance with the Study Design Report CEAA Scoping Document developed in Phase 2A, including documentation of existing conditions; preliminary design drawings; assessment of the effects stemming from the construction, operation, modification, decommissioning, abandonment of the Project; evaluation of the three alternative corridors; identification of mitigation measures and enhancement opportunities; environmental management plans; property requirements; cost estimates; results of consultations with stakeholders including the public; and recommended corridor including implementation strategy; and
- Screening Report: The Screening Report is the decision document of the expert and regulatory federal departments respecting their joint position on the significance of potential adverse environmental effects with mitigation. Generally, the Screening Report presents a summary of the major issues addressed in the Environmental Assessment and may reject, modify or add to the mitigation measures recommended in the Environmental Assessment Study.
Environmental Assessment (EA)
Are the Technically Preferred Alignments available for public review?
The Technically Preferred Alignment (TPA) for each Corridor can be viewed on the Study website’s Resources page.
What two methodologies will be used to select the Technically Recommended Corridor (TRC)?
An Outranking method is proposed for the selection of the Technically Recommended Corridor (TRC). This method is based on a pair-wise comparison of factors and sub-factors to determine their relative weighting, as well as a pair-wise comparison between Corridors.
In the pair-wise comparison of factors, members of the public and the Evaluation Committee will be presented with two factors at a time. They will then need to choose the factor that is more important to them in that comparison. The factor weights will then be calculated and averaged based on the number of times that each factor was chosen as being more important to the evaluator.
Members of the Evaluation Committee will assign weights to the following eight (8) Global Factor Groups through a pair-wise comparison:
- Traffic and Transportation
- Social Environment
- Cultural Environment
- Water Use and Resources
- Economic Environment
- Natural Environment
- Land Use and Property
The Evaluation Committee will be presented the complete pair-wise comparison of the sub-factors that have been determined by the relevant experts. If both Corridors are equal, then the points are divided equally between them.
The Corridor with the highest sum of the overall pair-wise comparison is therefore the Recommended Corridor by the Outranking Method.
The Reasoned Argument approach will be the secondary method used to verify the results of the Pair-Wise method. The Reasoned Argument considers the differences in the net impacts generated by each corridor and assessed the significance of those impacts (for instance, the magnitude, spatial extent or duration of the impacts). Subsequently, the Corridors are ranked in terms of their suitability as a new interprovincial link.
The results of the Pair-Wise approach and Reasoned Argument approach will be summarized with the best corridor ranking being carried forward as the ‘Technically Recommended Corridor’ (TRC).
For more details regarding the evaluation methodologies, including examples, please see the Draft Evaluation Methodology Report available on the Resources page. Members of the public are encouraged to complete the Web-Based Pair-Wise Comparison of Evaluation Criteria, available online between June 5, 2012 and July 5, 2012.
How Can I provide my opinion on the weighting of factors for the Pair-Wise Comparison of the Evaluation Criteria?
Weightings submitted by stakeholders and members of the public will be averaged and presented to the Evaluation Committee for their information and consideration during their evaluation of the three (3) Study Corridors
A Web-Based Pair-Wise Comparison of Evaluation Criteria survey will guide you through a series of comparisons between the eight (8) Global Factor Groups that will be used in the Pair-Wise evaluation of the three (3) Study Corridors. Following completion of the survey, you will have the chance to review your choices and the resulting weights.
The Web-Based Pair-Wise Comparison of Evaluation Criteria survey will be available online from June 5th to July 5th.
What is the purpose of an Evaluation Committee and Fairness Auditor?
The Evaluation Committee (EC) will conduct the evaluation of the three Corridors. The committee is made up of technical experts with relevant and broad knowledge of the Corridors to ensure there will be a balanced and informed evaluation.
To further ensure the equity, equality and transparency of the Evaluation Process for all Corridors, the services of an external auditor has been retained. This is a new addition to the Evaluation Process since the start of Phase 2B.
Further information on the Evaluation Committee and Fairness Auditor can be accessed in the Draft Methodology Report .
What components of the human environment are considered in Phase 2B?
Refer to Appendix A of the Study Design.
What components of the natural environment are considered in Phase 2B?
The present investigations focus on vegetation, flora and vertebrate fauna with additional attention on Species At Risk and amphibians and reptiles. Further information is available online here in the Draft Natural Environment Report.
Are fish and fish habitats considered in Phase 2B?
A detailed characterization of fish habitats and communities in the three corridors selected for Phase 2 of the study has been completed. Further information is available online here in the Draft Fisheries Report.
How is transportation considered in Phase 2B?
The transportation component of the EA Study complies with the procedural and technical aspects of the assessment outlined in Phase 2A. The five transportation components are:
- Truck traffic analysis
- Transit operation analysis
- Traffic safety analysis
- Traffic operations analysis
- Connectivity to non-motorized transportation
Further information is available online here in the Transportation Report.
What is an Environmental Assessment (EA)?
Adapted from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) Website (www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca)
An Environmental Assessment (EA) is a process to identify the environmental effects (including natural, cultural, social, transportation and economic environments) of a proposed initiative before it is carried out. A Federal EA identifies possible environmental effects, proposes measures to mitigate adverse effects, and predicts whether there will be significant adverse effects even after mitigation is implemented. A Federal EA is meant to minimize or avoid adverse environmental effects before they occur and to incorporate environmental factors into decision making.
How is the EA process being regulated by the three levels of government?
The Federal EA screening process is being followed by the NCC. Where two or more processes indicate different levels of requirements in order to achieve the same goal, the more stringent and rigorous requirements will be applied. The province of Quebec confirmed on July 19, 2010 that the Quebec EA approval process, under the “Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement” (LQE) and the “Règlement sur l’évaluation et l’examen des impacts dur l’environnement”, does apply to this project.
What is the role of the Ontario government in the EA process?
At the end of Phase 1, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment formally indicated that its provincial EA process did not apply to this project. As a funding partner, the Ontario Government has consistently represented the province’s interests in the Study’s process and has worked with the study partners to include the following enhancements to the federal EA screening requirements under the CEAA:
- Broadened the definition of “environmental effects” to include an assessment of direct social, as well as community values, transit and economic development effects, in addition to the natural environment and indirect socio-economic effects already covered by CEAA
- Needs and justification: i.e. Phase 1 scope of work
- Project alternatives: i.e. Phase 1: 10 alternative corridors reviewed
- Public consultation: extensive consultation in Phase 1 and 2A, included in the Study Design for Phase 2B
- Under the CEAA, the Responsible Authority may recommend that the Minister refer a project to a mediator or panel review.
- Throughout Phase 1 and Phase 2A of the EA, Ontario has been represented on the project Steering Committee which provides direction to the Study Team.
- Ontario will continue to be represented throughout the duration of Phase 2B.
- Ontario has ensured that the best content and study practices of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (OEAA) are included. This is evidenced by the Phase 2A Study Design Report.
- Ontario absolutely expects that community values, transit, and the economic development will be addressed in Phase 2B.
- The very purpose of Phase 2B is for the NCC to engage in a deeper study that reflects these and other key community values.
How does the NCC plan to evaluate the alternative crossing corridors during Phase 2 of the EA?
Determining the evaluation method was the mandate of the Phase 2A consultant, in consultation with the three funding partners (NCC, MTO and MTQ), and the City of Ottawa, the Ville de Gatineau and stakeholders, including the public. The evaluation methodology includes factors such as Natural Environment, Cultural Environment, Water Use and Resources, Social Environment, Land Use and Property, Economic Environment, Traffic and Transportation and Costs. For more details regarding the evaluation methodologies, including examples, please see the Draft Evaluation Methodology Report available on the Resources page.
What do the terms “Screening” and “Screening Report” refer to with regards to the EA?
“Screening” refers to an EA that is conducted pursuant to the CEAA and includes considerations such as any change the project may cause to the environment, the significance of potential adverse environmental effects, comments from the public, and any measures that would mitigate the identified environmental effects.
A “Screening Report” is a report that summarizes the results of a screening. It is the decision document of the expert and regulatory federal departments respecting their joint position on the significance of potential adverse environmental effects with mitigation. Generally, the Screening Report presents a summary of the major issues addressed in the EA and may reject, modify or add to the mitigation measures recommended in the EA.
Will a Screening level assessment of the three options be sufficient?
Under the CEAA, there are 4 types of EAs: Screening; Comprehensive Study; Panel Review; and Mediation.
There is no significant difference in the level of assessment that may be conducted between a ‘screening’ and a ‘comprehensive study.’ While the approval track under the CEAA is different, the scope (the considerations) of the screening being undertaken for this project is similar to that of a Comprehensive Study. Also, a screening can apply to more than one alternative.
There is no restriction on the process using a ‘screening’ approach. The CEAA is based on self-assessment. It is up to the responsible federal department, in conjunction with regulatory and federal experts, to determine the scope of the project and the assessment. The scope of the project and scope of assessment is described in the Scoping Document.
The EA Study will satisfy the requirements established by the CEAA and incorporate the information requirements of Quebec and Ontario environmental processes when those are more rigorous that the Federal requirements. In this way, the environmental requirements of Canada, Québec and Ontario will be applied.
How will the Study take into account ongoing studies concerning the review of the Greenbelt Master Plan?
This federal EA is evaluating the environmental, social, economic, heritage and planning impacts and recommending a technically preferred option, or options, as required for a new crossing of the Ottawa River. There are a number of ongoing planning, transportation, transit and environmental studies in parallel with this EA. It is taking into account, and being informed by, the relevant ongoing studies as well as pertinent federal, provincial and municipal plans and policies.
The EA Study Team has received input on regional and community values within these three corridors highlighting the importance of the Greenbelt because two of the corridors being evaluated require some occupation of Greenbelt lands. This EA is therefore taking into account the ongoing Greenbelt Master Plan review as well as the associated ongoing study assessing the cumulative effects of municipal transportation proposals on Greenbelt lands.
The NCC has ensured that documentation relevant to the Greenbelt Master Plan review, including background and consultation reports, is shared with this EA. The NCC will also ensure that findings of the cumulative effects study are shared with this EA.
Why is the Greenbelt being considered as part of the Study?
The Greenbelt is important to the ecological health of the NCR. The natural areas and ecosystems serve as organic sponges for various forms of pollution, and as storehouses of carbon dioxide to help offset global warming. The Greenbelt also helps residents and visitors feel more connected to nature. It protects natural environments, improves air quality, offers educational opportunities, is home to plants and wildlife, and protects the unique cultural heritage of rural communities. Transportation effects, including noise and vibrations, in sensitive portions of the Greenbelt are considered to be of important concern to the public as evident in public and stakeholder input to the Greenbelt Master Plan review and will be examined by the EA Study.
The Greenbelt was included in the Study to address the desire expressed by many members of the public for additional flexibility for the potential crossing alignments. As the Greenbelt had not been examined and ruled out in Phase 1, and no technical analysis was done during Phase 2A to assess potential alignments, all of the Greenbelt was included in the work to be done in Phase 2B.
Phase 2B Public Consultation
What is the purpose of the Phase 2B Round 2 Public Consultation Session?
Round 2 of the Public Consultation Program will include two consultation sessions: one in Ottawa and one in Gatineau. The public will have the opportunity to review the functional designs of the Technically Preferred Alignment (TPA) within each corridor and the steps taken to develop the Technically Recommended Alternative. The rationale for choosing the recommended alignment within each corridor, their associated mitigation measures and how public input on community values are reflected in the functional designs will be presented to the public.
The objective of Round 2 will be to solicit the public’s input into the evaluation factors and their weighting, and to refine the functional design of each alignment in each Corridor and mitigation measures to fit with the identified community values. The meetings will also allow an opportunity for members of the public to suggest additional criteria and their perspective on the importance of the criteria in the decision-making process. The Round 2 Consultation Session will allow dialogue with select technical experts. All information will be contained on panels displayed at the consultation sessions, there will be no presentations.
Can I review and comment on the materials presented at the Focused Segment Community Meetings?
All materials presented at the Focused Segment Community Meetings have been posted online. This includes the informational handout and downloadable PDF files of the functional designs of the “Focused Segments” presented at the meetings. These files can be downloaded here. We encourage you to review these files and send your comments to email@example.com.
A summary of all comments received at the Focused Segment Community Meetings and sent via email will be assembled in a report which will be posted on the Study website. Please sign up for the Study mailing list to be notified by email when new information is posted to the Study website.
How are the Phase 2B Public Consultation activities being organized?
As specified in the Study Design Report of Phase 2A, the consultation program for Phase 2B consists of four distinct rounds of consultation:
- For Round 1, the reports currently available on the Study site represent the input received, with the goal of capturing the communities’ priorities and values;
- The Study is currently undertakingRound 2, which will receive input on functional designs, including mitigation or avoidance, measurements of the net effects in the corridors under investigation, and the importance of competing evaluation criteria;
- Round 3 will receive input on the rankings of alternatives and sensitivity testing of the evaluation; and
- Round 4 will present the preliminary design of the preferred corridor and define mitigation measures in the EA.
When are the public consultation rounds scheduled?
Round 1, now completed, had several public consultation events throughout June, July and August 2011. The full reports can be accessed here.
Round 2 Public Consultation is scheduled for June 2012, and the release of the Round 2 Consultation Report is scheduled for Summer 2012.
Round 3 “Targeted and Public Information Fairs” and the release of the Round 3 Consultation Report are scheduled for Fall 2012.
Round 4 “Targeted and Public Information Fairs” and the release of the Round 4 Consultation Report are scheduled for Winter 2013.
How will the public be notified of public consultation events?
By registering for updates on the Study site’s homepage, you will be added to our mailing list to be notified of upcoming events and when new information is posted to the website. Notices will also be published in local daily and community print media.
A schedule of events will also be posted to the Public Consultation section of the site as we near the next round of public consultation.
What are the Community Value Plans?
The Community Value Plans included in the Round 1 Public Consultation Report have captured community input on their interests and values in the corridors under study by identifying areas to be protected (i.e. avoided or mitigated through design alternatives). There will be a record of issues that will be considered in the evaluation, the importance of these issues, and suggestions on the best approaches to mitigate these effects, if possible.
What is a World Café?
The World Café is a collection of facilitator-led regional discussions to engage participants using an innovative, yet simple methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their life, work, or community. As a process, the World Café methodology can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of common aims. The Cafés involve small group discussions and do not include presentations.
What is a “Do It Yourself” Kit?
The “Do It Yourself” Kit (DIYK) was designed to allow the public and stakeholders to submit corridor-specific concerns and comments online, in person, or by mail. This was in keeping with the Round 1 Consultation goal of receiving input from the three unique corridor perspectives. The DIYK allowed the public to list, without any imposed limits, what they believed to be the most significant values, features and/or assets of a specific corridor and suggestions for mitigation. The form also provided space for general comments as well as comments on possible benefits of a new interprovincial crossing in the National Capital Region and the types of design features that should be incorporated.
What is a Focused Segment Community Meeting?
Following the Round 1 Public Consultation activities, and taking into account the community values, the design team had developed roadway alignments (i.e. functional designs) within Corridors 5, 6 and 7. The objective of the Focused Segment Community Meetings is to present the alignments/functional designs to those potentially impacted by the corridors (i.e. backing directly onto the corridors). This additional series of small group meetings focused on bringing together individuals and representatives of community groups that live or work directly adjacent to the corridor segment under review.
At the Focused Segment Community Meetings, attendees had the opportunity to preview and comment on maps of the proposed alignments and mitigation measures related to their particular focused segment. This quick, qualitative feedback built on the input received from the Round 1 Public Consultation and allowed for a greater level of community input.
What is a “Focused Segment”?
In order to develop a focused design approach, each corridor has been divided into shorter sections that have similar design issues and constraints. These sections are called “focused segments”. Design and mitigation features can be incorporated into each focused segment in order to achieve an overall optimal alignment in the corridor.
An example of the Corridor 5 segments can be seen in Figure 1 below.
Why are you having the Focused Segment Community Meetings?
Following the Phase 2B Round 1 Public Consultation activities, several members of the Public Consultation Group (PCG) expressed the desire to have more opportunities to comment on study materials and provide feedback. As a result of this request, a series of Focused Segment Community Meetings were added to the Phase 2B Public Consultation program that engaged individuals and representatives of community groups that live or work directly adjacent to the corridor segment under review. The Focused Segment Community Meetings occured in the winter of 2012 prior to the broader Round 2 of Public Consultation scheduled for June 2012.
How do these Focused Segment Community Meetings fit into the Public Consultation Program?
These additional meetings were stand-alone events that were organized prior to the Round 2 Public Consultation. The quick, qualitative feedback received from the Focused Segment Community Meetings built on the input received from the Round 1 Public Consultation and allowed the study team to address specific issues related to design and mitigation directly with those impacted in each corridor. Furthermore, time was allotted to incorporate feedback into the functional designs that will be presented during the Round 2 Consultation activities in June 2012. All input received will be documented in meeting notes, be considered by the Study Team in their deliberations, and become a part of the public record.
Can I register to attend a Focused Segment Community Meeting?
Due to the small group format of these additional meetings and to ensure optimal feedback from the meetings, registration was limited to community groups and individuals that are directly adjacent to the corridor segment.
You are encouraged to visit the Public Consultation page for more information about the Round 2 Public Consultation activities, scheduled for June 2012, that will consist of larger meetings and allow for broader community involvement. Please register for our mailing list to be notified when new information is posted on the website.
Approximately how much will a bridge cost?
At this stage in Phase 2B, the best alignments for each corridor are not finalized and hence any clear indication of potential costs would be premature.
During Phase 1, costs identified for corridors 5, 6 and 7 ranged from $500M to $700M.
Phase 2B corridor costing will be completed for input into the corridor evaluation and selection activities prior to Public Consultation Round 3.
How will organizations such as the Montfort Hospital and the RCMP Musical Ride be considered?
There are several stakeholders within the Study Area that contribute to local communities and the overall region. As such, concerns regarding the positive and negative effects on stakeholders will be taken into account as the Study moves forward and considers the bridge’s impacts and possible mitigation measures.
A Stakeholder Group (SHG) has been established as part of the public consultation program of the Study. The SHG is comprised of key organizations representing various regional interests and is intended to capture the stakeholders’ intrinsic organizational context and issues that may not be addressed through the larger Public Consultation Group (PCG) activities. SHG meetings are scheduled at key points throughout the Study to engage stakeholders and allow them to provide input which will complement and inform the Study’s technical assessment.
In the Phase 2A Study Design Report, there is reference to a Commercial Goods Movement Study. How has the scope of Analysis of Truck Traffic (Appendix B of the Study Design Report) addressed the requirements of the Goods Movement Study?
The scope of work for Phase 2B is to evaluate the three corridors and determine differences between them related to the attraction and accommodation of heavy truck traffic from the King Edward Avenue corridor. In addition to the estimates of truck traffic volume diversion for the four scenarios identified in the Phase 2A Study Design Addendum, Phase 2B will determine the proportion of local versus interprovincial truck traffic, assess the travel distance differences and qualitatively assess the potential business/economic impacts of each of the corridors.
Specifically, the Phase 2A Study Design Addendum for the Analysis of Truck Traffic the identified the following objectives:
Determine the differences between the corridors related to the attraction and accommodation of heavy truck traffic. Heavy trucks are defined as a commercially licensed motor vehicle having a carrying capacity in excess of one (1) tonne or any vehicle having a gross weight in excess of four and one-half (4.5) tonnes, but does not include a bus travelling on an established bus route, an ambulance, or a school bus.
Estimate the volume of heavy truck traffic diverted to each of the three potential future Interprovincial Bridge Corridors under the following scenarios:
- Truck route designation removed from King Edward Avenue, Rideau, Waller, Nicholas.
- No “larger” heavy trucks (trucks with 3 or more axles and tractor trailers) permitted on the King Edward Avenue, Rideau, Waller, Nicholas route with the exception of vehicles making local deliveries.
- Heavy truck traffic use of the King Edward Avenue, Rideau, Waller, Nicholas route limited to the hours of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- Heavy truck traffic status quo.
All scenarios assume that the rest of the truck route designation in the National Capital Region remains the same.
The Phase 2A Study Design Addendum referred to a data collection program potentially through a licence plate survey, while the Commercial Goods Movement Study was anticipated to undertake an origin-destination survey. The Phase 2B work instead conducted an extensive traffic count program and video recording of the corridor, in both Ottawa and Gatineau, in October 2011. This count program produced much more exhaustive and comprehensive truck and traffic count data collection than what could have been captured through either a licence plate trace or origin-destination survey. In addition, the count program also captured the volume of truck traffic at each hour of the day that provides the information to address time-of-day restriction; differentiated various categories of truck sizes; and identified the local versus regional nature of the truck traffic trips. Along with the regional origin-destination modeling work, the forecasting of truck volumes for each of the three corridors will be completed.
A Commercial Goods Movement Study was anticipated at the time of the Phase 2A Study Design Report. That Study was to have examined high-level, strategic trends in the nature of commercial transportation in the National Capital Region. Although that joint study has been delayed, the actual work of estimating the volumes of trucks and movements within the downtown cores and between Ottawa and Gatineau has been accommodated in the work program for Phase 2B.
In the Phase 2A Study Design Report, there was reference to the Interprovincial Transit Integration Study. How is that study interconnected with this Phase 2B work?
The Interprovincial Transit Integration Strategy is a collaborative effort led by the NCC, in conjunction with the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) and the City of Ottawa as funding partners, and with the participation of the City of Gatineau. Among the numerous objectives of the study is the identification of synergies for existing and planned transit systems on both sides of the Ottawa River to promote efficiencies, regional integration and enhanced ridership potential for residents and visitors to the Capital.
Relevant information from the Interprovincial Transit Integration Strategy is being shared with the EA Study consultant team.
How is Phase 2B considering the removal of truck traffic in the King Edward, Rideau, Waller, Nicholas (KERWN) Corridor?
The truck traffic in the KERWN Corridor is currently being assessed by the Study Team. The manner in which the truck movements between Ontario and Quebec will be assessed is documented in the addendum to the Study Design Report. Four truck movement scenarios are planned to be assessed as follows:
- Option 1: The removal of the KERWN corridor’s designation as a truck route;
- Option 2: With the exception of vehicles making local deliveries, “large” heavy trucks (those with three or more axles and tractor trailers) will not be permitted on the KERWN corridor;
- Option 3: Limiting the heavy truck traffic on the KERWN corridor to the hours between 7pm and 7am; and
- Option 4: Heavy truck traffic status quo.
The manner in which issues are considered in the selection and/or design of the facility will be documented in the Draft Evaluation Methodology Report, which is available for public review on the Resources page. How will the planned Strategic Goods Movement Study by the NCC be integrated with the Phase 2B work?
A broader joint Strategic Goods Movement Study will contain a strategic analysis of regional goods movement by all parties. It would be intended to recommend strategies for goods and services to move more efficiently and sustainably throughout the NCR and across the Ottawa River in order to maintain the vitality of the regional economy while minimizing impacts. Such a study should not preclude the exploration of methods to best divert the majority of interprovincial heavy truck transportation from the core area.
Phase 2B will include its own analysis of trucking operations related to the three corridors, building on the 2007 interprovincial roadside truck survey results that will be supplemented by truck traffic counts being collected in the Fall of 2011.
This micro-level analysis is necessary to avoid delays due to the uncertainty of the broader joint strategic goods movement study and the need for a more detailed and localized assessment approach for this EA. What was the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) decision with regards to the KERWN Corridor in 1999?
Background: The 1997 Official Plan (OP) of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (RMOC) was appealed to the OMB by a number of individuals and groups who asked, among other items, that two interprovincial corridors (Kettle Island and the Champagne arterial (Lemieux)), and the extension of the Vanier Parkway be added to the RMOC OP. The purpose of these additional road links was to reduce traffic impacts in the King Edward-Rideau-Waller-Nicholas (KERWN) truck route.
Findings: Of the crossings discussed at the hearing, the OMB found that the Kettle Island corridor must be included in the Official Plan and that the approaches to the Kettle Island crossing must be protected. The OMB found that the King Edward Avenue area had suffered environmental, social and economic impacts. All parties at the hearing agreed that something had to be done. The OMB found that a new bridge should be designed to accommodate trucks and should be designated as a truck route. The OMB found that King Edward Avenue and Rideau Street should be removed from the regional truck route system when a new corridor capable of handling trucks safely and efficiently is in place. Why is a tunnel under King Edward Avenue not included as an option for evaluation in Phase 2B?
During the first Phase 1 Public Consultation Session, members of the public inquired about the option of building a tunnel from the south end of the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge under Lower Town to connect with Nicholas Street. This option was considered and not carried forward mainly because it does not address interprovincial traffic. For reference, a technical memorandum describing the analysis during Phase 1 is included in Appendix M. Technical Memoranda of the Final Documentation of Phase 1 and can be found on the Study website under Resources. In Phase 2A and Phase 2B, members of the public again inquired about this option.
The feasibility of a variety of tunnel connections in this area was reviewed in the King Edward Avenue Renewal Study by the former Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. In 1999, the notion was also reviewed by the Ontario Municipal Board that approved the removal of the Vanier Parkway link from the Ottawa Official Plan. Following detailed consideration, the tunnel options were rejected during both the King Edward Study and the OMB hearing for a number of reasons including traffic problems and reduced road network continuity.
As noted in Phase 1, while the tunnel’s ability to avoid a new crossing is appealing, the transportation supply provided by this link is insufficient to address the future demand across the Ottawa River.
The conclusions derived in the King Edward Avenue Renewal Study Report, previous OMB decisions and the Phase 1 analysis all remain valid. The City’s current analysis of travel across the Ottawa River indicates a deficiency of two lanes in the peak direction. Because this option was examined in Phase 1, in accordance with the principles established for Phase 2B, this idea will not be carried forward. What is the definition of a “heavy truck”?
A “heavy truck” is defined as a vehicle with three or more axles and tractor trailers.
For the purpose of the Interprovincial Crossings study, vehicles with 2 axles and dual rear tires, vehicles with more than 2 axles, and tractor-trailer vehicles are defined as “trucks”. This definition excludes cars with trailers, pick-up trucks and buses.
What is the KERWN Corridor?
The KERWN Corridor is a municipal north-south route that accommodates regional and interprovincial traffic through Downtown Ottawa. It is composed of King Edward Avenue between the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge and Rideau Street, Rideau Street between King Edward Avenue and Waller Street, Waller Street between Rideau Street and the Mackenzie King Bridge, and Nicholas Street between the Mackenzie King Bridge and Laurier Street.
What is a “local” truck trip?
According to the 2007 Roadside Interprovincial Truck Survey, a local truck trip is known as an “internal/internal” trip that has both an origin and a destination within the National Capital Region. For example, a trip from the Hull Sector to Orléans is considered a local trip.
However, specifically for the purpose of the Interprovincial Crossings Study, a “local” truck trip is defined as a trip performed by any truck entering or leaving the KERWN Corridor at any location between Highway 417 and Autoroute 5. Conversely, a “through”, or “regional” truck trip is defined as a trip performed by any truck travelling from Highway 417 to Autoroute 5 or vice versa without leaving the KERWN Corridor.
What data was required for the truck analysis?
The Study Design Report (Phase 2A) required “data collection to support the estimation of the proportion of local versus interprovincial trucks on King Edward-Rideau-Waller-Nicholas (potentially a license plate survey).” The analysis of truck traffic requires the knowledge of not only the number of truck trips along the KERWN Corridor, but also of the proportion of local truck traffic and the variation of the truck traffic (local and regional) through a 24 hour period for weekdays and weekends. This requires extensive data that has to be collected simultaneously at several locations during a specific period of time to achieve an optimal precision.
Different data collection methods were considered by Roche-GENIVAR, and it was decided by the consultant team that the use of automated traffic recorders (ATR) and video recordings at key select locations would be the most cost effective and expeditious method for collecting the required data. Details including rationale for the selected data collection method are found in the Transportation Report for Phase 2B.
Why not a truck origin-destination survey?
An interprovincial truck origin-destination survey was sponsored by the TRANS Joint Committee in 2007. The 2007 Interprovincial Roadside Truck Survey report is available on the TRANS website at www.ncr-trans-rcn.ca. The survey has been used by TRANS to develop an origin-destination matrix that was used for the 2031 truck traffic projections contained in the Transportation Report for Phase 2B.
A survey of origins and destinations (either roadside intercept survey or license plate survey) as part of Phase 2B would require advance planning, challenging logistics and extensive data processing. The decision by Roche-GENIVAR to proceed with automated traffic recorders (ATR) and video recordings allowed the study to estimate the proportion of local truck trips on the KERWN corridor.
What about the Goods Movement Study expected from the NCC?
According to the Study Design Report (Phase 2A), one of the inputs to be used for the truck analysis was the findings from the “proposed strategic level Goods Movement Study”. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, that study was not available and therefore could not be used to refine the conclusions of the present truck analysis.
The Goods Movement Study was anticipated to undertake an origin-destination survey. As explained above, the Phase 2B work instead conducted an extensive traffic count program and video recording of the KERWN corridor which, in combination with the TRANS origin-destination matrix, allowed the fulfilment of the Study Design Report requirements.
Is the 2007 Truck Survey sufficient to determine local trips?
The 2007 Interprovincial Roadside Truck Survey asked truck drivers about their initial origin and final destination, but not about any intermediate stops. For example, a truck traveling from Gatineau to a location outside Downtown Ottawa may have performed a delivery “on the way” near the KERWN Corridor. This counts as a “local” trip for the present Interprovincial Crossings project, but is not represented as such in the 2007 Interprovincial Roadside Truck Survey report. (See also: What is a “local” truck trip? )
According to the 2007 Interprovincial Roadside Truck Survey report, less than 10% of the truck trips crossing the Ottawa River are “local” trips (i.e. trips performing a delivery in Downtown Ottawa). This result is considered by Roche-GENIVAR to be low. The ATR counts obtained by Roche-GENIVAR in October 2011 reveal a proportion of local trips being 35% of the total truck traffic using the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge.
Where are the trucks coming from and where are they going?
The table below presents the percentages of truck traffic crossing the Ottawa River for each origin-destination pair (both directions), based on the 2007 Interprovincial Roadside Truck Survey report.
In comparison, according to the same data, the truck traffic crossing the Ottawa River to go to/from Montréal and Southern Québec account for 12% of the total truck traffic.
What will be the origins/destinations of the trucks using the new bridge?
The figures shown below illustrate the estimated truck traffic patterns on the regional road network according to the TRANS model. These figures will be added to the final Transportation Report.
The first figure shows the truck traffic pattern as estimated for 2031 without a new bridge (Status Quo Option, Base Case Scenario).
Why are 2031 forecasted truck volumes so high?
During Phase 1 of the Interprovincial Crossings Study, it was assumed that truck traffic would grow at a rate of 2% per year. Traditional practice suggests this growth rate is moderate and is regularly used in transportation analyses. This assumption has been maintained for Phase 2B for consistency purposes, even though the truck traffic growth during the last decade appears to be lower.
The 2007 Interprovincial Roadside Truck Survey report states that the 2007 truck traffic on the Ottawa River is 9% higher than in 1999-2000 (corresponding to an average growth rate of 1.1 to 1.3% per year). In addition, the ATR counts made in October 2011 by Roche-GENIVAR reveal that the truck traffic did not increase since 2007. Therefore, the current 2031 truck traffic projection as presented in the Draft Transportation Report is deemed conservative.
However, it must be noted that the purpose of the truck analysis is to compare the attractiveness of each corridor option, i.e. it is the proportion of trucks electing to use the new bridge – not the absolute number of trucks – that represents an appropriate measure of effectiveness.
How can the high truck traffic volumes on Chaudière Bridge be explained with a truck prohibition on the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge?
The Draft Transportation Report indicates that an important portion of the daily truck traffic would opt to use the Chaudière Bridge if a truck prohibition is enforced on the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge. This is because the truck assignments in the TRANS simulation model are based on the shortest route for each origin-destination pair under free-flow conditions regardless of the traffic conditions. During peak hours, congestion issues may force trucks to use the new bridge (if available). However, it must be noted that the majority of truck traffic travels outside peak hours (38% between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and 23% between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., according to the October 2011 counts) under conditions that are closer to free-flow conditions.
In Phase 1, the corridor with the highest truck volume was Corridor 5. Why is it Corridor 6 in Phase 2B?
In Phase 1, Corridor 5 attracted a total of 1725 trucks per day while Corridor 6 attracted 1625 trucks per day (a difference of 6%). In Phase 2B, the final numbers (to be presented in the final Transportation Report) are now 1716 and 1824 respectively. The number of trucks practically did not change on Corridor 5 but increased by about 200 (12%) on Corridor 6.
This difference is due to an update of the truck origin-destination matrix, which is still based on the 2007 Origin-Destination Survey, but has been adjusted to increase its accuracy and filter out inconsistencies. In particular, the number of external trips (trips to or from outside the National Capital Region) is higher and may contribute to a higher truck volume on Corridor 6.
What will be the impact of the completion of Autoroute 50 on interprovincial truck traffic in the National Capital Region?
Based on the information regarding truck traffic going to/from Montréal (See also: Where are the trucks coming from and where are they going? ), if any reduction is to occur, it is expected not to exceed 12%, that is, the proportion of truck traffic going to/from Montréal and Southern Québec.
Any questions related to the extension of Autoroute 50 should be addressed to the Ministère des Transports du Québec (www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca).