News / Ottawa

Rideau Street to re-open next month following massive sinkhole back in June

Above ground work for LRT to continue into next summer

The Rideau Street sinkhole lead to delays on the LRT project.

Metro File

The Rideau Street sinkhole lead to delays on the LRT project.

Rideau Street will re-open to buses and taxis by Dec. 16, but the fallout from the massive sinkhole earlier this year will keep construction above ground going on right into next summer.

At a construction update Tuesday, the city said the Rideau Transit Group would be able to re-open the street to allow for buses and taxis to get through.

Steve Cripps, the director of LRT implementation, said the complete closure has helped the Rideau Transit Group catch up with the work they needed to do.

“The real key for Rideau Street was the 24-7 closure that has really allowed them to progress,” he said.

Cripps said there remains about 20 metres of tunneling to complete underground.

While they expect the tunneling to be complete by mid-December or January, the original plan to have all the work on Rideau done before next summer and before thousands come to Ottawa for 2017 celebrations likely won't happen.

He said some of the work to create vent shafts and other structures on the surface will still be going on next summer.

“The sinkhole has changed a lot of things and that is one we will have to look at,” he said.

The city is still waiting for a report on the cause of that sinkhole.

Coun. Keith Egli said having the street re-open is a major step forward.

“I think it’s going to be great, the merchants along Rideau the people who work there have been very patient with the city,” he said. “I think re-opening it is going to be a breath of fresh air for them.”

The city also updated its plans for snow removal this winter, with no major changes to its approach to last winter.

Luc Gagné, the city’s manager of road services, said the parking bans will still be put in place when called for and they expect to have enough equipment to clear streets efficiently.

Several forecasters have predicted a winter with more snow and colder temperatures, but he said the city is prepared.

“What they are saying is we are going to be getting a classic Canadian winter,” he said. “It’s not something we haven’t seen before with the resources we have.”

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