News / Ottawa

Three years to repair Prince of Wales Bridge, says city

The city has been in hot water with the CTA after it ripped up 240 metres of railway track near Bayview Station to make way for the LRT line

The Prince of Wales Bridge, linking Ottawa and Gatineau, was purchased by the city in 2005.

Michelle Nash Baker/Metroland

The Prince of Wales Bridge, linking Ottawa and Gatineau, was purchased by the city in 2005.

The work required to repair the Prince of Wales Bridge such that it could be used to provide train service between Ottawa and Gatineau at some point in the future, would take at least three years, said the city in a letter to the Canadian Transport Agency on Friday.

The city noted, however, that it is making no firm commitments as to when they would be moving forward with repairing the bridge, or whether they were even planning on doing so at all.

While the city’s transit master plan does identify plans to provide train service north to Gatineau after 2031, city clerk Rick O’Connor wrote in a letter to the CTA that “the City wishes to be very clear in confirming that it is not providing any assurances, representations or commitments of any kind regarding its ability to meet, or accommodate, these timelines.”

The CTA has been after the city after it ripped up about 240 metres of rail line around Bayview Station to make way for the LRT.

The CTA was tipped off to the removal by a complaint from the Moose Consortium — a company that has an ambitious plan to operate a 400-km, pay-what-you-want regional rail network — that the city did not follow proper discontinuance rules when removing the track.

The city has not weighed in openly about the Moose Rail proposal, but in a memo sent to council on Friday, John Manconi said that “if another agency or organization were to decide to provide train service from Gatineau to Bayview Station, the City anticipates working in a coordinated and consultative manner with that agency or organization to provide access to the railway line on the Prince of Wales Bridge.”

Given Moose’s role in the entire rail imbroglio unfolding between Bayview Station and the bridge, it appears that the city is not (at least for now) dismissing the possibility of the Moose Rail network.

Moose’s executive director Joseph Potvin said that the company was aware of the memo, but would be refraining from comment until after its weekly meeting.

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